michigan supreme court http://michiganradio.org en Supreme Court orders exam of Michigan judge's mental health http://michiganradio.org/post/supreme-court-orders-exam-michigan-judges-mental-health <p>LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered a judge to undergo a mental health exam.</p><p></p> Sat, 19 Jul 2014 21:04:00 +0000 The Associated Press 18442 at http://michiganradio.org Supreme Court orders exam of Michigan judge's mental health MI Supreme Court's ruling on juvenile lifers is stupid, expensive and will be overturned http://michiganradio.org/post/mi-supreme-courts-ruling-juvenile-lifers-stupid-expensive-and-will-be-overturned <p></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">T</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">here is a long-established principle that whenever state law conflicts with a federal law, the federal law prevails. That’s been established by a long string of U.S. Supreme Court decisions, plus a little event called the Civil War. &nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">This is why, for example, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes could rule that the pensions of Detroit city workers and retirees could be cut, even though Michigan’s state constitution says they can’t be. Federal bankruptcy law prevails.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">If this weren’t the case, it would mean that anything Congress or the U.S. Supreme Court did could be overruled by any state legislature, and our nation would become no more than a collection of 50 countries united in name only.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">That’s something we all learned in civics class -- which makes the Michigan Supreme Court’s decision yesterday on life sentences for minors completely baffling</span>.<br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Two years ago, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional to automatically sentence juveniles to life without the possibility of parole. However, some politicians who want to be seen as tough on crime, claimed this decision was not retroactive.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">And yesterday, in a four to three vote, the Michigan Supreme Court agreed with them. The justices ruled that minors who were sentenced in Michigan to life without the possibility of parole still have no chance of a hearing – if they were sentenced before the nation’s highest court’s ruling.</span></p><p> Wed, 09 Jul 2014 14:32:56 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 18305 at http://michiganradio.org MI Supreme Court's ruling on juvenile lifers is stupid, expensive and will be overturned Stepparent adoption not possible in joint-custody case http://michiganradio.org/post/stepparent-adoption-not-possible-joint-custody-case <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Stepparent adoption just became more difficult in the state of Michigan.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The Michigan Supreme Court has upheld a state law that says a stepparent cannot adopt a child if the biological parents share joint custody.</span></p><p><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">In the decision, Justice Brian Zahra wrote that stepparents wanting to do so would have to be married to a spouse with sole legal custody of the child. T</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">hat means going back to court and petitioning for sole custody before the stepparent can adopt.&nbsp;</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Debra Keehn is a family law attorney in Ann Arbor. She said the added legal step is going to make adoption more difficult for families.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">"All of that takes a lot of time and a lot of money and it puts a big financial burden, I think, on a family who’s trying to increase the security of a child."</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">&nbsp;</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The court ruled in the case of a couple who divorced in 2009.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The mother remarried a year later and petitioned to have her new husband adopt her child. She argued that the child's father had not made contact or sent any money in over two years. But the ruling said she would have to petition a court for sole custody of her child before her new husband could adopt.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;" /><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The court's decision was unanimous.</span></p><p><i style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: 15.555556297302246px; vertical-align: baseline; color: rgb(51, 51, 51); font-family: Georgia, Times, serif; line-height: 22px;">– Reem Nasr, Michigan Radio Newsroom</i></p><p> Thu, 26 Jun 2014 20:12:24 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 18165 at http://michiganradio.org Stepparent adoption not possible in joint-custody case Michigan Supreme Court to hear dispute over court costs http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-hear-dispute-over-court-costs <p> DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court soon will hear arguments in a dispute over whether convicts can be ordered to pay the operating costs of local courts.<br /><br />Fred Cunningham is asking the Supreme Court to throw out a $1,000 bill that was part of his sentence for a drug crime in Allegan County, southwest of Grand Rapids.<br /><br />Judges statewide have used their discretion to order local court costs, citing Michigan law. The attorney general's office is defending the practice, saying the Legislature could have restricted the meaning of the law but didn't.<br /> Sat, 29 Mar 2014 15:21:00 +0000 The Associated Press 17024 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court to hear dispute over court costs Audio: April DeBoer talks about challenging Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage http://michiganradio.org/post/audio-april-deboer-talks-about-challenging-michigans-ban-same-sex-marriage <p>Tomorrow, hearings challenging Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage begin in federal court.</p><p>Partners April DeBoer and Jayne Rouse are two nurses, living in Hazel Park. They’ve been raising three children together, but they cannot jointly adopt the children because of Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage.</p><p>The couple sued the state for the right to adopt jointly and eventually submitted a legal challenge to the state’s ban on same-sex marriage.</p><p>The hearings are expected to focus on whether Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban is unconstitutional and whether children are harmed by being raised by same-sex parents.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Listen to April </span>DeBoer speaking with <em>All Things Considered </em>Host, Jennifer White below:</p><p></p><p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 21:58:00 +0000 Jennifer White 16581 at http://michiganradio.org Audio: April DeBoer talks about challenging Michigan's ban on same-sex marriage Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments in grandparents' visitation case http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-will-hear-arguments-grandparents-visitation-case <p>The Michigan Supreme Court will consider a case tomorrow involving a grandparent’s right to have visitation with a grandchild.</p><p></p><p>In <a href="http://courts.mi.gov/Courts/MichiganSupremeCourt/oral-arguments/2013-2014/Pages/147333.aspx">the case</a>, the parents of a man whose parental rights to his two children were terminated sued for visitation. The man’s parental rights were terminated following allegations of physical abuse. He has since died.</p><p></p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 22:01:41 +0000 Steve Carmody 16024 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments in grandparents' visitation case Michigan Supreme Court to decide separation of powers case http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-decide-separation-powers-case <p>The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether a judge can ignore part of a state law that limits what a jury can consider as part of a criminal case.</p><p>The defendant in the case was charged with reckless driving that caused a fatality. His lawyer asked the judge to order the jury to consider a lesser charge. The judge agreed, even though state law specifically doesn’t allow that. The judge said the law violates the state constitution, and its separation of powers doctrine.</p> Fri, 29 Nov 2013 14:05:00 +0000 Rick Pluta 15473 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court to decide separation of powers case Michigan Supreme Court passes on libraries and guns case http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-passes-libraries-and-guns-case <p>The Michigan Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal of a case involving libraries and guns.</p><p><a href="http://www.cadl.org/">Lansing’s library system</a> had banned openly carried firearms in its branches. But the Court of Appeals found that violated a state law preventing local units of government from banning weapons.</p><p>Today, the state Supreme Court decided to let the lower court decision stand.</p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 01:18:34 +0000 Steve Carmody 15390 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court passes on libraries and guns case In this morning's headlines: 1,300 signed up for Obamacare, Court of Claims, pot in pharmacies http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-headlines-1300-signed-obamacare-court-claims-pot-pharmacies <p><strong>1,300 Michiganders signed up for Obamacare in the first month of online exchange </strong></p><p>"Health officials released a report yesterday showing that only about 1,300 Michigan residents managed to sign up for coverage through the troubled federally-run state health care exchange in its first month of operation," the Associated Press reports.</p><p><strong>Michigan Supreme Court names Court of Claims judges </strong></p><p>"The Michigan Supreme Court has moved quickly to name judges to serve on a revamped Court of Claims to hear major lawsuits filed against the state. A new law moves the Court of Claims from the Ingham County Circuit and makes it part of the Michigan Court of Appeals. The state Supreme Court tapped two judges originally appointed by a Republican governor and two appointed by a Democrat to serve on the new Court of Claims," Rick Pluta <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-names-court-claims-judges">reports. </a></p><p><strong>Senate approves bill for pot sales at pharmacies </strong></p><p>"The state Senate has approved a bill that could clear the way for pharmacies to sell medical marijuana in Michigan. That’s if the federal government decides to regulate cannabis as a prescription drug," Jake Neher <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/plan-sell-medical-marijuana-pharmacies-clears-state-senate">reports. </a></p><p> Thu, 14 Nov 2013 12:14:06 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15279 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's headlines: 1,300 signed up for Obamacare, Court of Claims, pot in pharmacies Stacking the judicial deck http://michiganradio.org/post/stacking-judicial-deck <p></p><p>We’ve been focused so much on elections that many of us haven’t much noticed what’s been going on in Lansing.</p><p>Well, those who remember the unseeingly way Right to Work was rammed through the legislature in last year’s lame duck session, may find we’re about to get déjà vu all over again.</p><p>Republicans have just passed a bill to radically change the way in which judges are selected when citizens sue the state. Essentially, it allows the state Supreme Court to pick four&nbsp;judges from the Court of Appeals to hear these cases.&nbsp;</p><p>The panel that hears lawsuits against the state, by the way, is called the Court of Claims. For many years, this function has been exercised by the circuit judges in Ingham County. That’s the county where Lansing and our state government are located, which has been logistically convenient. This bill will change that.</p><p> Thu, 07 Nov 2013 13:22:54 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 15175 at http://michiganradio.org Stacking the judicial deck Michigan Supreme Court funds two new courts http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-funds-two-new-courts <p>The Michigan Supreme Court has picked five projects to receive money for court innovations.</p><p>One project is a human trafficking court in Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti.&nbsp; It will determine whether offenders in prostitution cases are victims of human trafficking. If so, the court will offer services, not jail time.</p><p>Another involves using social media and technology to improve court communication in various counties.</p> Fri, 01 Nov 2013 12:37:54 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 15082 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court funds two new courts The "dark money" that elected Michigan's Supreme Court http://michiganradio.org/post/dark-money-elected-michigans-supreme-court <p><br />"The 2012 Supreme Court campaign was the most&nbsp;expensive and least transparent in history."</p><p></p><p>Yikes.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>That's the unflattering takeaway from a new report from a consortium of groups like the Brennan Center for Justice and the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Of the $19 million dollars poured into the state's Supreme Court races, $13 million went to ads like the&nbsp;following.</p><p></p> Fri, 25 Oct 2013 21:35:50 +0000 Kate Wells 15004 at http://michiganradio.org The "dark money" that elected Michigan's Supreme Court Do federal drug laws trump Michigan's constitution? High court will decide http://michiganradio.org/post/do-federal-drug-laws-trump-michigans-constitution-high-court-will-decide <p>The Michigan Supreme Court will hear a challenge today to a local ordinance that bans medical marijuana despite an amendment to the state constitution that allows it.</p><p>The city of Wyoming, outside Grand Rapids, enacted the ordinance three years ago. It outlaws any activity that&rsquo;s already prohibited by federal law. It was directed at the state&rsquo;s voter-approved medical marijuana amendment, which conflicts with federal drug laws.</p><p>The city says it acted within its authority because federal laws trump state laws.</p><p> Thu, 10 Oct 2013 18:57:15 +0000 Rick Pluta 14802 at http://michiganradio.org Do federal drug laws trump Michigan's constitution? High court will decide State Bar asks for reversal of disclosure rule http://michiganradio.org/post/state-bar-asks-reversal-disclosure-rule <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The State Bar of Michigan says it’s time to end anonymous campaign spending in elections for judges and Supreme Court justices.</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The State Bar is asking Michigan’s top elections official to require committees that pay for so-called “issue ads” to reveal their donors. That would require Secretary of State Ruth Johnson to reverse a 2004 rule issued by her predecessor that says the independent committees can keep their donors secret.</span><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;</span><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><br style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;"><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Bruce Cortade is the president of the State Bar of Michigan. He says anonymous campaign spending undermines confidence in the legal system, and it's growing more common.</span></p><p> Fri, 13 Sep 2013 18:14:39 +0000 Rick Pluta 14411 at http://michiganradio.org State Bar asks for reversal of disclosure rule Good news in the Michigan Supreme Court http://michiganradio.org/post/good-news-michigan-supreme-court <p></p><p>There’s a little good news both from and about the Michigan Supreme Court. Yesterday, the court announced it is ordering all courts in the state to provide interpreters for people who have limited or no English-speaking skills.</p><p>This was followed by a joint press conference starring Chief Justice Robert Young, one of the state’s longest-serving and most conservative justices, and Justice Bridget McCormack, who is both the court’s most recently elected member and one of its most liberal.</p><p>Though they have often voted differently when deciding cases, the two justices clearly had a warm camaraderie yesterday, and that was notable. There have been times in recent years when some justices have launched personal public attacks against each other, which did nothing for the court’s reputation.</p><p>The order to provide certified translators is a huge step in the right direction, especially given our ongoing influx of Spanish-speaking and Middle Eastern immigrants.</p><p> Thu, 12 Sep 2013 12:35:21 +0000 Jack Lessenberry 14392 at http://michiganradio.org Good news in the Michigan Supreme Court Michigan Supreme Court asked to decide fate of “medibles” http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-asked-decide-fate-medibles <p>A medical marijuana cardholder has appealed a drug possession conviction to the Michigan Supreme Court. The appeal seeks clarification on how the law views putting marijuana or its active ingredient into baked goods.</p><p>&nbsp;&nbsp; Earl Caruthers hopes the state’s highest court will reverse the Michigan Court of Appeals in his case.&nbsp; He was stopped with some THC-laced brownies in the back of his car. He also had some pot in plastic bags, and was driving on a suspended license. But he’s only challenging a conviction related to the brownies.</p> Sat, 07 Sep 2013 12:00:00 +0000 Rick Pluta 14318 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court asked to decide fate of “medibles” In this morning's news: Detroit Police changes, childhood obesity, and custody case http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-detroit-police-changes-childhood-obesity-and-custody-case <p><strong>Detroit Police Department prepares for big changes</strong></p><p>Detroit Police Chief James Craig intends to introduce a large departmental reorganization, <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/detroit-police-chief-promises-massive-reorganization-revives-gang-intelligence">reports </a>Michigan Radio’s Sara Cwiek.&nbsp; Craig announced last week that he will restore a version of the department’s gang squad. &nbsp;Many administrative jobs will be filled by civilians so that more officers can return to field work.</p><p><strong>CDC says obesity down among Michigan children</strong></p><p>According to a new Center for Disease Control study fewer Michigan children qualify as obese.&nbsp; Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/report-obesity-rate-michigan-pre-schoolers-improving">reports</a> that the obesity rate among low-income preschool children dropped from 13.9% in 2008 to 13.2% in 2011.&nbsp; Michigan ranks fifth in the nation for obesity rates.</p><p><strong>Michigan Supreme Court returns custody to foster family</strong></p><p>The Michigan Supreme Court has ordered that four children be returned to their foster family,<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-says-children-custody-battle-will-stay-foster-family"> reports</a> Michigan Radio’s Rick Pluta.&nbsp; Custody was awarded to their grandmother last year by the Michigan Court of Appeals because state law gives automatic preference to relatives when parental rights are terminated.&nbsp; The Supreme Court said that the children should be returned to the foster family until it makes a decision whether to hear the appeal. Fri, 09 Aug 2013 12:00:05 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13910 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Detroit Police changes, childhood obesity, and custody case Supreme Court dismisses wrongful death lawsuit in suicide case http://michiganradio.org/post/supreme-court-dismisses-wrongful-death-lawsuit-suicide-case <p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled the family of a man who committed suicide cannot sue the Kent County Sheriff’s Department for failing to carry out a court order that might have saved his life.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">Stephan Bradley’s family says he might not have killed himself if deputies had acted on a warrant that he should be brought in for a psychiatric evaluation. Instead, nine days after the warrant was issued, Bradley committed suicide. An internal inquiry found department procedures were not followed.</span></p><p><span style="color: rgb(34, 34, 34); font-family: arial; font-size: small; line-height: normal;">A wrongful death lawsuit filed by his sister was dismissed because governments cannot be sued for not doing a job as well is it should be done. The sister went back seeking a contempt of court judgment on the same grounds seeking similar damages. The Michigan Supreme Court ruled that was essentially the same lawsuit and ruled local governments are still immune from that type of litigation.</span></p><p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 21:10:37 +0000 Rick Pluta 13718 at http://michiganradio.org Supreme Court dismisses wrongful death lawsuit in suicide case Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether a governor can reverse clemency decision http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-will-decide-whether-governor-can-reverse-clemency-decision <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to decide whether Governor Jennifer </span>Granholm<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> exceeded her authority when she reversed her decision to commute the life sentence of a convicted murderer.</span></p><p>Matthew Makowski is serving a sentence of life without parole for murder and armed robbery.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 09 Jul 2013 14:25:10 +0000 Rick Pluta 13432 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether a governor can reverse clemency decision Michigan Supreme Court refuses to rule early on right-to-work http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-supreme-court-refuses-rule-early-right-work <p>On Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court said it would not make an early ruling on the constitutionality of the state's new right-to-work law. Governor Snyder had asked the high court to decide the issue before the case made its way through lower courts.</p><p>The law was passed last December during a very controversial lame-duck legislative session. Under the law, workers cannot be forced to pay union dues or fees as a condition of employment.</p><p>Chris Gautz, the Capitol Correspondent for Crain's Detroit Business joined us today to help break it down for us.</p><p><em>Listen to the full interview above.</em></p><p> Mon, 08 Jul 2013 21:53:16 +0000 Stateside Staff 13417 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Supreme Court refuses to rule early on right-to-work