Lessenberry talks bills to penalize drug users, gay marriage and Bernard Kilpatrick

Oct 19, 2013

In This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rina Miller and political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss bills in Lansing to penalize poor people who use drugs, a delay in the decision over gay marriage, and the sentencing of Bernard Kilpatrick.

Bills to penalize impoverished drug users

Lawmakers in Lansing are working on a few bills that require drug testing in order for a person to qualify for welfare or unemployment benefits.

Lessenberry says, “It seems to be open season on poor people who may be suspected of using drugs.”

He says the measure that passed the state Senate this week to revoke unemployment benefits for anyone who fails a drug test or refuses to take a drug test is likely to pass in the House as well.

Judge delays gay marriage decision

A federal judge this week did not make a decision in a case involving gay marriage in Michigan. He instead ruled the case will go to trial in February. The case involves a lesbian couple from Oakland County who are raising three special needs children together.

The case started as a challenge to Michigan’s adoption code, which only allows married couples or single people to adopt. However, the federal judge in the case “actually invited the attorney for these two women to also challenge Michigan’s same sex marriage statute,” Lessenberry says.

Lessenberry says a lot of people expected the judge to rule this week that the same-sex marriage statute and the Michigan adoption code were unconstitutional, but he wanted more evidence in the case and set a trial date for Feb. 25.

Bernard Kilpatrick sentenced

Miller and Lessenberry also discussed how Bernard Kilpatrick, father of ex-Detroit mayor Kwame Kilpatrick, was sentenced to 15 months in prison for cheating on his taxes.