DETROIT (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments this week in an unusual case that involves a deceased man from the Kalamazoo area and twin children conceived after his death.
The Social Security Administration is
refusing to grant survivor benefits to the twins, who were born after in-vitro fertilization. The government says they shouldn't be recognized as heirs under Michigan law because they weren't alive when Jeff Mattison died.
The Portage man froze his sperm while battling health problems that led to his death in 2001. His
wife, Pam Mattison, subsequently went through artificial insemination, and the twins were born.
A federal judge says he can't solve the Social Security dispute until the state Supreme Court decides if the kids are considered heirs under Michigan law. Arguments are scheduled for Thursday.
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Michigan is governed as a republic, with three branches of government: executive, legislative and judicial. The state also allows direct participation of the electorate by initiative, referendum, recall, and ratification.