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The Michigan Court of Claims ruled Thursday that the state Legislature did not violate the Michigan Constitution last year by approving a deal between former Republican Gov. Rick Snyder and Enbridge Inc. The challenged deal calls for replacing Line 5 with another pipeline that would run through a tunnel under the straits.

Diver inspecting Line 5.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel argued that the law authorizing the details was rendered invalid by a technical deficiency–specifically that the law exceeds the scope of its title. Judge Michael Kelly rejected that argument. “The Court’s view is shaped by the principle that statutes are presumed to be constitutional,” said Kelly, adding that the court uses “extreme caution.” He said a court may not find something unconstitutional and cannot declare it as unless “serious doubt exists.”

Enbridge praised the court’s decision.

We are pleased that the Michigan Court of Claims ruled in our favor. We are reviewing the decision and may have further comment.

Enbridge remains fully committed to the Great Lakes Tunnel project.

We continue to believe the tunnel is the best solution for Michigan and that Line 5 can continue to be safely operated during the period while the tunnel is being constructed. And we are committed to build it.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she’ll appeal the court’s decision.

This story was compiled from press reports.


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