Judge won't ease halt on license suspensions for poor

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A judge won't freeze an order that stops Michigan officials from suspending the driver's licenses of people who can't afford traffic fines.

Federal Judge Linda Parker turned aside aggressive arguments by the secretary of state's office, which describes her injunction from last week as a "monkey wrench thrown into an enormous machine running at full speed."

Parker says there's a strong likelihood that the due process rights of poor people are being violated when their licenses are suspended for failure to pay traffic fines. But the judge also emphasized Thursday that she's not ordering the state to restore anyone's license at this point.

Parker says the secretary of state must guarantee that people have notice of an ability-to-pay hearing before a suspension.

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