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Supreme Court in Michigan Rules that Judges Must Use Preferred Pronouns

Judges and court personnel in Michigan must reportedly now use parties’ preferred pronouns, the state’s highest court ruled Wednesday.

Under the new rule adopted by the Michigan Supreme Court, attorneys and litigants will be able to specify their “preferred salutations and personal pronouns” on court documents beginning January 1, 2024, and judges will be required to comply.

The court considered and debated the new rule at length before approving it by a 5 to 2 vote, making Michigan the first state to require justices to use the preferred pronouns of the parties.

“Parties and attorneys may also include Ms., Mr., or Mx. as a preferred form of address and one of the following personal pronouns in the name section of the caption: he/him/his, she/her/hers, or they/them/theirs. Courts must use the individual’s name, the designated salutation or personal pronouns, or other respectful means that is not inconsistent with the individual’s designated salutation or personal pronouns when addressing, referring to, or identifying the party or attorney, either orally or in writing.” the extreme new rule now states.

Justice David Viviano, nominated by the Republicans, opposed the new rule change.

William R. Bloomfield, general counsel for the Diocese of Lansing, stated in an eight-page response to the proposed rule that it would violate the First Amendment.

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