Unlike most public services, which are financed by taxes, our court system relies heavily on collecting crippling fines, fees, and costs from low-income criminal defendants to operate. This unjust system disproportionately impacts people of color, who are overpoliced and overcharged in our criminal legal system. It also undermines the perception that judges are impartial arbiters, as they have an incentive to find defendants guilty and impose high fines and fees because the money is needed to operate the court system. Working with the Detroit Justice Center and Street Democracy, in 2021 the ACLU of Michigan filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Michigan Court of Appeals in a case challenging this practice as unconstitutional because it violates the due process right to a fair and impartial judiciary. In May 2021 the Court of Appeals rejected our argument. However, in October 2021 the Michigan Supreme Court requested briefing in another case raising similar issues, and we filed another friend-of-the-court brief and participated in oral argument, this time arguing that separation-of-powers principles prohibit judges from raising revenue for the courts because it is the legislature’s job to fund the government. In June 2022 the Court announced it would set the case for additional briefing and reargument, and we filed another friend-of-the-court brief in January 2023. Unfortunately, in July 2023 the Court dismissed the appeal without ruling on the merits. Two justices dissented, stating that the Court should have reached our arguments and ruled in our favor. Three justices, concurring in the dismissal, declined to say whether the funding scheme at issue was constitutional, but opined that the legislature should be given an opportunity to amend the statute. If the legislature retains this constitutionally suspect funding structure beyond 2024, the Court left the door open to revisiting the issue in a similar case. (People v. Lewis; People v. Johnson; People v. Edwards; ACLU Attorneys Phil Mayor, Bonsitu Kitaba-Gaviglio, and Dan Korobkin; co-counsel Rubina Mustafa of the Detroit Justice Center, Jayesh Patel of Street Democracy, Angela Tripp and Robert Gillett of the Michigan State Planning Body, and Ann Routt of Legal Services Association of Michigan.)