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Michigan Supreme Court considers adding Juneteenth as court holiday

 The Michigan Supreme Court is weighing whether to make Juneteenth a state court holiday.
Reginald Hardwick
The Michigan Supreme Court is weighing whether to make Juneteenth a state court holiday.

The Michigan Supreme Court is considering a proposal to make Juneteenth a state court holiday. 

Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the U.S.

It became a federal holiday in 2021.

The Michigan Supreme Court could replace Black Friday, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Eve with Juneteenth as a state court holiday or simply add it to its calendar.

Wayne County Third Judicial Circuit Court executive administrator Zenell Brown says there’s a financial aspect to making Juneteenth a holiday.

Brown says when county leadership recognized it last year, her court didn’t.

“So, our funding unit encountered having to pay overtime to make sure that we had the staff needed for our courts,” Brown said. “I realized that in other jurisdictions, they’re going to have to look at these issues too.”

Michigan Supreme Court spokesperson John Nevin says that’s an issue because state court funding is decentralized.

“We actually have, I think, 160 different funding units,” Nevin said. “That’s certainly a factor the Supreme Court will consider in deciding whether to make it a court holiday. One set of rules, which would make sense.”

The Michigan Supreme Court has received about 50 comments on the proposal so far.

There’s no timetable for a decision.

Copyright 2022 WKAR Public Media. To see more, visit WKAR Public Media.

Kevin Lavery is a reporter at WKAR.