Yesterday's post about a Wisconsin court's decision to prohibit a man from procreating as a condition of probation in a felony non-support case and a comment from Carrie E. Huff, of Mallory, Cunningham, Lapka, Scott & Selin, PLLC in Lansing, Michigan, that the probation requirement of not procreating sounded unconstitutional to her inspires this post. The answer is: In Michigan, such a prohibition is unconstitutional. In Wisconsin (and who knows where else), it is not. The issues of course are fundamental rights of privacy, due process, and equal protection of law.
A 1925 Michigan Supreme Court case upheld a Michigan statute that provided that, so long as procedural steps were followed, a Court could issue an order for sterilization of "mentally defective" persons. Smith v. Command, 231 Mich. 409, 204 N.W. 140 (1925) Download Smith_v_Command,_Probate_Judge
It amazes me that it took seventy--70--years for the Michigan Court of Appeals ("COA"), on remand from the supreme court in lieu of granting leave, to reject the holding in Smith. The supreme court remanded to the COA for reconsideration as on leave granted "to reconsider, without limitation, whether probate judges possess the power to authorize a guardian to consent to the sterilization of a developmentally disabled citizen." In re Wirsing (On remand), 214 Mich.App. 131 (1995)