Questions Dog a Case Involving a Suspended License and a Viral Video

The irony was too much for the video not to go viral: A Michigan man charged with driving without a license shows up for a court hearing via video … while driving a vehicle.

But the story behind Corey Harris’s day in court — and the many memes, jokes, fan art and commentary it has spawned since the May 15 video made the rounds last week — is more complicated than it seems.

Two years ago, a judge in another Michigan county had rescinded the suspension of Mr. Harris’s driver’s license, which he had lost because of a child support case.

That revelation, first reported by WXYZ Detroit, provided some context to the comical exchange between Corey Harris and Judge J. Cedric Simpson of Washtenaw County and drew attention to the varying and potentially confusing bureaucratic processes for reinstating a driver’s license in Michigan.

Mr. Harris’s license was suspended in 2010 in connection with a child support case in Saginaw County, Mich, according to WXYZ. In January 2022, Judge James T. Borchard of Saginaw County ordered that the license suspension be rescinded, court records show.

But the suspension was never lifted — the reason is a source of debate — and Mr. Harris, 44, was cited in October for driving with a suspended license in Pittsfield Township.

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