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Wed April 3, 2013
Judge denies attorney general's request to dismiss suit to repeal right-to-work law
Update 11:45 a.m:
An Ingham County judge says a lawsuit aimed at repealing the state’s new right-to-work law can proceed. This morning, Judge William Collette rejected a motion by the state to have the lawsuit immediately dismissed.
The lawsuit says the Legislature violated the state’s Open Meetings Act when it shut members of the public out of the Capitol as right-to-work bills were debated and passed.
ACLU of Michigan Attorney Michael Pitt says the ruling means they can now gather more information to build a case.
"So that the public will understand once and for all what happened, and how the Legislature conducted itself in a highly inappropriate way on December 6."
State Attorney General Bill Schuette says hundreds of citizens were in the House and Senate chambers as lawmakers took up the bills.
Joy Yearout is a spokesperson for Schuette. She says the judge’s decision is not a major setback.
"He has every right to lay out the parameters as to what evidence he needs before he can make a decision. That being said, we’re fully confident that after he reviews the evidence, which at this point we don’t expect there is much evidence to suggest violation, that he’ll uphold the law."
Judge Collette did dismiss from the case the Michigan State Police Captain who ordered the doors of the Capitol closed.
There are at least two other lawsuits seeking to repeal the new law in state and federal court.
An Ingham County Circuit Court judge has denied the state attorney general's request to immediately dismiss a lawsuit to repeal the state's new right-to-work law.
The ACLU of Michigan says the new state law should be tossed out because it was passed in violation of the Open Meetings Act. The suit says lawmakers deliberately locked members of the public out of the state Capitol as the legislation was introduced and passed in December.
State Attorney General Bill Schuette says police stopped letting more people into the building due to safety concerns.
Jake Neher will have more on this story soon.