Lansing Update
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CAN is an outreach of the Michigan Catholic Conference, the official public policy voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan
November 6, 2020

  In This Update:  
  • 2020 Election Results: National and Statewide Races and Measures
  • U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Key Religious Liberty Case 
  2020 Election Results: National and Statewide Races and Measures  
NOTE: Election results are still being finalized across the country. The latest Michigan results can be found at the Secretary of State's website:

Additionally, the Michigan House and Senate Oversight Committees are coming together for a joint meeting tomorrow, November 7. The purpose of the meeting is to begin an inquiry into the election and counting procedures within Michigan, both for this and future elections. In the announcement, House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering) wrote that the committee is not looking to change the results, but that "Americans needs certainty and unity. This will help."

U.S. Presidential Race: At the time of this email, the results have still not been finalized. However, from the vote count in Michigan, the state's sixteen electoral votes will be allocated to Joe Biden.

U.S Legislators:
  • As a result of the U.S. House of Representatives races, Michigan's delegation includes two new members, Peter Meijer (R, 3rd District) and Lisa McClain (R, 10th District). Twelve returning Congresspeople join those new members: Jack Bergman (R, 1st District), Bill Huizenga (R, 2nd District), John Moolenaar (R, 4th District), Dan Kildee (D, 5th District), Fred Upton (R, 6th District), Tim Walberg (R, 7th District), Elissa Slotkin (D, 8th District), Andy Levin (D, 9th District), Haley Stevens (D, 11th District), Debbie Dingell (D, 12th District), Rashida Tlaib (D, 13th District), and Brenda Lawrence (D, 14th District). The delegation maintains a 7-7 split between Democrats and Republicans. 
  • It appears as if Gary Peters (D) has been narrowly re-elected as a U.S. Senator for Michigan. However, candidate John James (R) has not yet conceded and is calling for an investigation into the election process.
State Races:
  • In the Michigan House of Representatives, the chamber continues to have a 58-52 Republican majority. While the Michigan Senate was not on the ballot, two state senators were elected to other positions, leaving their seats vacant until a special election can be held. 
  • The State Board of Education remains in Democratic control by a 6-2 margin.
  • On the State Supreme Court, Justice Bridget Mary McCormack was re-elected, and Elizabeth Welch joins her on the bench. They will serve in the coming year alongside Justices Richard Bernstein, Megan Cavanagh, Elizabeth Clement, David Viviano, and Brian Zahra.
Statewide Ballot Proposals:
  • Statewide Proposal 1 passed with wide support, 84.28 percent to 15.72 percent. The newly adopted constitutional amendment adjusts how royalties from oil and gas mining on state-owned lands are used. It allows greater flexibility in the way the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund can be spent on 1) public land acquisition and 2) development, maintenance, and renovation of existing parks, nature areas, and public recreation facilities.
  • Statewide Proposal 2 was overwhelmingly approved, 88.75 percent to 11.25 percent. The newly adopted constitutional amendment requires a search warrant before law enforcement can access a person's electronic data or electronic communications.
Michigan Catholic Conference (MCC) will provide further updates as they are available.
  U.S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Arguments in Key Religious Liberty Case  
This week, the U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Fulton v. City of Philadelphia. The issue at hand is a decision by the City of Philadelphia to prohibit Catholic Social Services (CSS) from placing children into foster homes, despite CSS's exemplary record. The decision was not based on a complaint, nor on the agency keeping children from loving homes; it was because of the organization's longstanding beliefs about marriage. The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) filed an amicus curiae brief in support of foster parent Sharonell Fulton, foster care worker and parent Toni Lynn Simms-Busch, and Catholic Social Services back in June. On Wednesday, November 4, USCCB issued the following statement:

"Catholics have been called to care for children who have been orphaned, or whose parents face unique difficulties in providing care, since the earliest days of our faith. We serve all children in need, without regard to race, religion, sex, or any other characteristic. We have done this for centuries, long before any government, because we believe every single person - especially the marginalized and powerless - deserves to experience the love of Jesus and be part of a family. The same core beliefs about human dignity and the wisdom of God's design that motivate Catholics to serve the vulnerable also shape our convictions about sex, marriage, and the right of children to a mother and a father. These commitments are inseparable. Today the Supreme Court heard arguments in a challenge to government exclusion of Catholics from providing foster care because we engage in this ministry as Catholics - that is, consistent with Church teaching on marriage and family. We pray the Court's ruling will fulfill the First Amendment's promise that religious believers may bring the full vitality of their faith to the public square, and will reject a hollowed-out pluralism that permits people of faith only to preach but not to practice."

To learn more about this issue and the case, read MCC's FOCUS: Catholic Charities-Uniting Children With Loving Families.

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Michigan Catholic Conference, 510 South Capitol Avenue, Lansing, Michigan 48933 Michigan Catholic Conference: The Official Public Policy Voice of the Catholic Church in Michigan Phone: (517) 372-9310, Fax: (517) 372-3940,