Ypsilanti joins U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief

A request for legislation was presented asking Ypsilanti City Council to consider a resolution to join the amicus brief in the United States Supreme Court in support of the U.S. District Court, Eastern District and Southern Division order in the case of "Deboer et al v. Richard Snyder."

Mayor Amanda Edmunds and Council Members Daniel Vogt and Peter Murdock were at the forefront.

“In support of the resolution, I’ll state my opinion that there is absolutely, categorically no basis whatsoever to oppose this resolution, in any logic morality, period. End of discussion,” Vogt said at the Feb. 3 meeting.

According to the request, Judge Bernard A. Friedman found that the Michigan Marriage Amendment Article 1, Section 25 of the Michigan Constitution that prohibits same sex marriages is in violation of the equal protection clause of the U.S. Constitution, and in opposition to the opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, upholding the MMA.

Approval of the resolution means that council expresses support but would not incur any litigation costs.

“We entered an amicus brief previously in the appeals court on this issue,” Murdock said. “This is just a continuance of our long-standing policy.”

The resolution passed 6-1.

“I am pleased that the City is taking leadership on a key issue in our community and across our state,” Edmunds said. “Looking forward to June, hopefully.”

In other news, council voted to pass an amendment to the “No Smoking in Tot-Lots Ordinance.” The ordinance will now “prohibit the use of any e-cigarette, e-cigar, e-pipe and any personal vaporizer or electronic nicotine delivery system of any kind.”

Originally adopted Nov. 18, 2014, the ordinance has been reviewed by the Washtenaw County Public Health Department and the City Parks and Recreation Commission. Both have recommended that this amendment address specific language prohibiting the use of personal nicotine delivery systems.

Upon reviewing a similar ordinance in effect in Ann Arbor, the Ypsilanti City Attorney’s office proposed the new ordinance which the WCPHD provides “effectively rectifies” its concerns.

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