WATCH LIVE: Michigan Supreme Court hears key case on jobless fraud

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that will determine if people who were wrongly accused of defrauding the unemployment program can sue the state.

An automated computer system run by Gov. Rick Snyder's administration was a disaster.

Thousands of people were accused of cheating to get unemployment aid. They were forced to repay money, along with substantial penalties, before the state acknowledged errors.

The issue for the Supreme Court on Wednesday is a technical one: Did plaintiffs wait too long to sue ?

The Unemployment Insurance Agency is being represented by Attorney General Bill Schuette's office. Schuette, a Republican candidate for governor, says the computer system "failed Michigan."

But he says he must defend the state regardless of whether a law is good.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette released the following statement ahead of the arguments being held for Bauserman v. UIA at the Michigan Supreme Court:
"As Attorney General, it is my responsibility to defend all of Michigan's laws, whether I personally agree or not, and regardless of whether the law is a good one. Tomorrow's hearing at the Michigan Supreme Court is one that is difficult for all involved. The MiDAS computer system was flawed. The result of this flaw was 44,000 people being wrongly accused of fraud and 186 people wrongly charged by local prosecutors' offices, all of whom are terrified of the long-term consequences. The MiDAS system failed Michigan, and all of its citizens."