Economic Justice

The Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office is committed to securing economic justice—which means protecting workers and consumers from predatory practices. Accordingly, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office has engaged in several litigation and advocacy efforts to strengthen laws that protect workers, consumers, and families from economic harm. Learn more about our efforts by reading our briefs and statements below.

January 11, 2023: U.S. Supreme Court Brief Supporting President Biden’s Student Loan Forgiveness Program

On January 11, 2023, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office joined 40 local units of government from across the nation on United States Supreme Court brief supporting President Biden’s student-loan forgiveness program. The brief argued that the state-affiliated entities challenging the program are not harmed by—and indeed stand to benefit from—the loan-forgiveness program. As the brief noted, student-loan forgiveness promises to spur business development and homeownership, and reduce housing insecurity and healthcare costs for states. Thus, the brief asserts, the state-affiliated entities lack legal “standing” to sue.

On the merits, the brief asserted that the student-loan forgiveness program was a reasonable response to the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, as many student borrowers risk default following expiration of the student-loan repayment “pause.” The brief thus urged the Court to uphold President Biden’s loan-forgiveness program in its entirety.

November 15, 2021: Letter Supporting Federal Effort to Prioritize Workplace Rights and Safety in Immigration Enforcement

On November 15, 2021, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office joined 11 state attorneys general and eight local prosecutors and labor-enforcement agencies on a letter supporting the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) plan to change its worksite enforcement practices to support enforcement of wage protections, workplace safety, labor rights, and other employment laws and standards. Among other things, the letter urged DHS and the federal government to put into place safeguards that ensure that employers cannot retaliate against non-citizen workers who report unfair labor practices. It also urged DHS to proactively support non-citizen workers who cooperate with labor law enforcement agencies.

March 25, 2021: Amicus Brief Opposing Tenant Harassment

On March 25, 2021, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office joined 18 local governments from across the nation on a brief supporting New York City’s Residential Anti-Harassment Law. The brief argued that laws which prevent landlords from harassing their tenants into vacating their units are key to ensuring public health and safety—particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

February 5, 2021: Amicus Brief in Michigan Supreme Court Consumer Protection Case

On February 5, 2021, the Washtenaw County Prosecutor’s Office filed a brief on behalf of itself and a group of other Michigan prosecutors in Cyr v. Ford Motor Company—a case involving Michigan’s consumer protection laws. The brief argued that, over time, the Supreme Court has adopted an unnecessarily restrictive reading of the Michigan Consumer Protection Act. That, in turn, has hampered prosecutors’ ability to fight consumer abuse

The brief urged the court to consider the case, and to clarify the scope of Michigan’s consumer-protection law.

The brief was joined by the Prosecuting Attorneys from Alger, Chippewa, Genesee, Ingham, and Marquette Counties.