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Michigan sued over drivers' license suspension policy

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The lawsuit filed by Equal Justice Under Law claims Michigan is using a "wealth-based" system to suspend licenses of drivers who can't pay their traffic fines.

A Washington-based civil rights organization is suing the state of Michigan over what it says is a case of "wealth-based" discrimination.

The group Equal Justice Under Law is suing the state of Michigan in an effort to restore the suspended licenses of drivers who could not afford to pay their traffic fines.

The suit filed in federal court claims a suspended license can cause a "downward spiral" for poor persons who can miss out on jobs and education.  The group claims Michigan is not distinguishing between people who are voluntarily refusing to pay their fines versus those who are unable to pay.

A spokesperson for the Michigan secretary of state's office says the state is complying with the law.

Kevin Lavery served as a general assignment reporter and occasional local host for Morning Edition and All Things Considered before retiring in 2023.
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