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People carrying firearms at the Michigan State Capitol in Lansing, Michigan, on Oct. 17. Photo: Jeff Kowalsky /AFP via Getty Images

Judge Christopher Murray on Tuesday reversed a directive by Michigan Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson that banned the open carry of firearms at or near polling places or absentee counting boards on Election Day.

Why it matters: Benson said the rule was intended to curb the possibility of voter intimidation or harassment on Nov. 3 Meanwhile, the state's Attorney General Dana Nessel argued the necessity for the directive has grown since an alleged plot to kidnap Gov. Gretchen Whitmer was revealed, according to the Detroit News.

What they're saying: Murray wrote that the edict violated the state law that governs how new rules are enacted by going beyond existing legislation about where open carry is banned.

  • "The Legislature has said: Here are the places you cannot carry a weapon," Murray said at the hearing, according to the Detroit News. "The secretary has expanded that. And so how is that in accordance with state law?"
  • "The directive itself covers a substantive policy area — where a resident can openly carry a firearm — and applies to every resident of this state," suggesting that law enforcement is expected to enforce it, Murray wrote. 

The other side: "As the state's Chief Election Officer I have a sworn duty to protect every voter and their right to cast their ballot free from intimidation and harassment, Benson said, according to CNN. "I will continue to protect that right in Michigan, and we will be appealing this ruling."

What to watch: Nessel responded to Tuesday's decision that her office would appeal "as this issue is of significant public interest and importance to our election process," the Detroit News reports.

Go deeper

GOP Rep. Fred Upton on Trump's push against Michigan election results: "It's over"

Rep. Fred Upton (R-Mich.) told CNN's "Inside Politics" on Sunday that "the voters have spoken” in Michigan, and that it's time to move on from the election after no evidence of mass voter fraud has been found in his home state.

Why it matters: President Trump reached out directly to Republican leaders last week in Michigan as part of a long-shot effort to prevent the state from certifying President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, the New York Times reports.

Updated 3 mins ago - Health

GOP Rep. Clay Higgins says he has COVID for second time

Rep. Clay Higgins during a 2019 House Oversight and Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

Rep. Clay Higgins (R-La.) Sunday evening that he and his wife have contracted COVID-19 for a second time and "this episode is far more challenging."

Driving the news: "Becca and I had COVID before, early on, in January 2020, before the world really knew what it was," he wrote in a Facebook post, confirming his son also has the coronavirus — which he described as a "biological attack weaponized virus."

Updated 1 hour ago - Sports

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🏀: U.S. Men's basketball suffers first Olympic loss since 2004

🤖: The robot Olympics

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Go deeper: Full Axios coverage