Law

Law
5:04 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Trio of medical marijuana bills clear state House

A medical marijuana clinic owner offered pot to customers who also registered to vote
User Eljoja Flickr

Medical marijuana patients in Michigan would have more ways to legally obtain and consume cannabis under three bills that cleared the state House today. One bill would allow medical marijuana dispensaries to operate again in Michigan.

State Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) introduced the legislation. He says it’s critical for many patients to have safe access to marijuana right away.

“If either you grow your own or a caregiver grows your own, it takes four to six months before it’s medicine,” said Callton. “Many of these people – especially if they’re cancer patients that are trying to maintain appetite – many of them may be dead by the time their medicine is ready.”

The House also approved a bill that would let patients use edible or topical forms of medical marijuana, and another that could clear the way for pharmacies to sell medical marijuana in Michigan.

All three bills now go to the state Senate.

Law
4:50 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

'Patriot Week' could be required in Michigan's public schools

Credit taliesin / MorgueFile

Michigan's history and social studies teachers may be required to include specific topics for an annual "Patriot Week."

The Senate this week passed a trio of bills that would require public schools to focus on the U.S. Constitution and other founding documents for one week every year.

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Law
4:21 pm
Thu December 12, 2013

Groups already considering challenge to Michigan’s new abortion insurance rider

Rick Pluta Michigan Public Radio

Wednesday's vote by the Legislature to enact a law to require people to buy separate health policies to cover abortions may not be the final word on the question.

There are meetings underway to organize a referendum challenge. Abortion rights advocates are putting together a coalition to launch a petition drive. They want to challenge the new law with a referendum on the ballot next November.

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Law
11:12 am
Tue December 10, 2013

Ann Arbor mayor vetoes repeal of crosswalk ordinance

Credit Morguefile

Ann Arbor mayor John Hieftje vetoed last week's repeal of Ann Arbor's crosswalk ordinance. This leaves Ann Arbor's controversial crosswalk ordinance unchanged. 

The ordinance  requires drivers to yield to pedestrians waiting on the curb to enter  a crosswalk as well as to those who are already in the crosswalk.

Ann Arbor City Council voted 6-4 to repeal the crosswalk ordinance on December 2.  Eight votes are needed to override the mayor's veto.  It doesn't appear there are enough votes for that.

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Law
4:52 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

State House bill seeks to protect late night gas station and convenience store workers

Credit Morgue File

A Michigan lawmaker wants gas stations and convenience stores to improve security for late-night workers.

State Representative Collene Lamonte (D-Montague) announced today that she had introduced a bill to require gas stations and convenience stores operating between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. to schedule at least two people to work during those hours -- or to install and maintain security cameras.

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Law
5:00 am
Mon December 9, 2013

Businesses that eject breastfeeding moms would face penalties

Credit cdc.gov

Mothers who choose to breastfeed their babies in public have every right to do so in Michigan. But not everyone's clear about the law.

Women cannot be told to leave a business or public transportation in order to breast feed their baby. Just because it may make some people uncomfortable, Michigan law is on the mother's side.

Several cases made recent headlines, including a woman who was told to get off a public bus because she was breastfeeding her baby.

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Law
1:28 pm
Sat December 7, 2013

Livingston sheriff complains of jail overcrowding

HOWELL, Mich. (AP) - Sheriff Bob Bezotte says overcrowding has forced the Livingston County Jail to sleep some female inmates on the floor of a small cell with a single toilet.

The Livingston County Daily Press & Argus of Howell reports Saturday that Bezotte sent an email and photo showing the sleeping conditions to county commissioners.

The newspaper says it received the email and photo Friday through the Freedom of Information Act.

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Law
8:24 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

State Senate approves bill making it easier to end landline phone service

C Simmons Flickr

A bill that would make it easier for phone companies to end traditional landline service in Michigan has cleared the state Senate.

AARP of Michigan and other groups worry the measure threatens affordable and reliable phone service. They say it could put some Michiganders at risk if they lose emergency medical alert systems available with traditional landlines.

But Senate Bill 636 still got overwhelming bipartisan support in the state Senate.

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Law
4:42 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

ACLU seeks to prevent eviction of domestic violence victim

Allison Ben
Credit ACLU of Michigan

The American Civil Liberties Union and the Fair Housing Center of Southeastern Michigan  have asked the Inkster Housing Commission to drop its effort to evict a pregnant woman from one of its apartments. They say the Commission is evicting her because of domestic violence she has suffered while a tenant.

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Law
5:49 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Detroit bankruptcy judge: Pensions are fair game

Sylverster Davis, who retired from Detroit's water department after 27 years, is worried about his pension.
Sarah Hulett Michigan Radio

  In a case being watched nationwide, a federal bankruptcy judge in Detroit today ruled that the city is eligible for Chapter Nine municipal bankruptcy protection.

Judge Steven Rhodes also surprised some when he ruled that the city’s pensions can be cut.

The word spread quickly among a group of protestors outside the federal courthouse in Detroit.

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Law
5:14 pm
Tue December 3, 2013

Mayor to veto repeal of Ann Arbor's crosswalk law

Credit Morguefile

Ann Arbor's City Council voted 6-4 Monday night to repeal its controversial crosswalk ordinance.  The rule requires drivers to stop if a pedestrian is waiting on the curb to enter a crosswalk.

But it looks like the rule won't change.

The Mayor of Ann Arbor, John Hieftje, says he will veto the repeal before it has a chance to take effect.

He thinks the current law makes things safer for pedestrians. 

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Law
5:18 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

ACLU sues US bishops, claims pregnant woman denied appropriate care by Catholic hospital in Muskegon

Tamesha Means
aclumich.org

The American Civil Liberties Union filed a federal lawsuit on Friday against the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on behalf of a pregnant Michigan woman who miscarried.

The suit claims that Tamesha Means was denied appropriate medical treatment at Mercy Health Partners in Muskegon, because the Catholic hospital is required to comply with religious directives written by the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops. The ACLU says the religious directives prohibit the hospital from providing the applicable standard of care or from informing patients about appropriate treatment options.

Mercy Health Partners is the only hospital in Means' county.

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Law
2:20 pm
Mon December 2, 2013

Michigan Attorney General appeals order for parole hearings for teen offenders serving life in jail

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette (file photo)
Official portrait

Michigan’s Attorney General has decided to appeal a federal judge’s order that would require parole hearings for more than 300 juvenile offenders serving life sentences.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that sentencing juvenile offenders to automatic life without parole constituted “cruel and unusual” punishment. 

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Law
6:00 am
Mon December 2, 2013

Tribal sovereignty at issue in US Supreme Court case out of Michigan

US Supreme Court building
Credit Wikimedia

The United States Supreme Court will hear today in a fight over a tribal casino in a small, northern

Michigan town. But there’s more than a casino at stake. The case revolves around the sovereign right of tribal governments to be immune from lawsuits.

The Bay Mills tribe wants to open a casino more than 100 miles from its reservation in Chippewa County in the eastern Upper Peninsula. The state of Michigan says it can’t, and sued in federal court to stop it.

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Law
8:45 am
Sat November 30, 2013

Don Davis retiring as western Michigan federal prosecutor

U.S. Attorney Don Davis
U.S. Justice Department

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Don Davis is retiring after 40 years as a federal prosecutor in western Michigan.

Davis is a well-known lawyer in Grand Rapids. He's spent his career at the U.S. Attorney's Office there and served as head of the office for four years before President Barack Obama finally got a nominee approved by the U.S. Senate in 2012.

MLive.com says Davis disclosed his retirement in a letter to colleagues Friday.

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Law
9:05 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Michigan Supreme Court to decide separation of powers case

Michigan Supreme Court (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

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.

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.

Law
6:22 am
Fri November 29, 2013

Michigan court to take look at jobless pay for pot users

(file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

DETROIT (AP) - Can workers who are fired in Michigan for using medical marijuana get unemployment benefits?

The state appeals court has agreed to tackle the issue in the months ahead. One case involves a hospital employee in Charlotte, Michigan, while another involves a forklift driver in Grand Rapids.

Jenine Kemp and Rick Braska were fired after their employers learned they used medical marijuana. Drug use violated company policy.

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Law
1:16 pm
Sat November 23, 2013

Flint sees improvement in violent crime rate

Flint Police Chief James Tolbert
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Flint’s police chief says violent crime is down in his city, despite the city reaching a grim milestone this past week.

Last Sunday, 16 year old Wesley Gillmore became the 50th person murdered in Flint this year.   Flint has notched at least fifty homicides in each of the last four years. The city set a record with 67 murders in 2012.

Still police Chief James Tolbert says Flint’s violent crime rate is improving, down 29% in the last 11 months.

To keep that downward direction, Tolbert says the public’s help is needed.

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Law
2:26 pm
Fri November 22, 2013

State rejects “WAR SUX” license plate, Ann Arbor man sues

Personalized license plates on the wall of Bell's Brewery in Kalamazoo.
anthonylibrarian Creative Commons

Another Michigan man who was denied a personalized license plate the state says could be considered “offensive to good taste and decency” is suing on free speech grounds.

The American Civil Liberties Union is already suing the Secretary of State over a similar case in federal court in Grand Rapids.

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Law
8:18 pm
Thu November 21, 2013

Michigan Supreme Court passes on libraries and guns case

Capitol Area District Library, downtown Lansing branch (file photo)
Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court has decided not to hear an appeal of a case involving libraries and guns.

Lansing’s library system 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.

Today, the state Supreme Court decided to let the lower court decision stand.

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