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michigan supreme court

guns in holsters on two people
Lucio Eastman - Free State Project - PorcFest 2009 / CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=27373086

The Michigan Supreme Court heard arguments Wednesday about two school districts' policies that ban guns from school property.

bonfire on beach close up
Photo by Kelly Bork on Unsplash

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a century-old inn in a lawsuit over hot coals on a Lake Michigan beach. The court says Watervale Inn is protected by a law that shields landowners from liability during recreational activities. The court last week reversed a decision by the Michigan appeals court. A 10-year-old girl, Bailey Noble, suffered burns while stepping on the hidden remnants of a beach bonfire in 2013.

A concealed carry weapon
aliengearholsters / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1xMszCg

With attention to gun control legislation at the forefront of the national conscience, the Michigan Supreme Court will hear arguments Wednesday over whether schools can trump state law to enact their own firearm restrictions.

Both Ann Arbor Public Schools and Clio Area School District are facing lawsuits by gun rights groups after banning weapons on school grounds in 2015 and 1996, respectively.

State law currently bans guns from weapon-free school zones; however, someone with a concealed pistol permit can enter school property with an openly holstered gun.

A box of Ice Mountain brand water bottles
Steven Depolo / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has approved a permit for Nestle to increase the volume of water it pumps from its well in Osceola County from 250 gallons per minute to up to 400 gallons per minute.

More than 80,000 people spoke out against Nestle's permit request, but the MDEQ said it cannot base its decision on public opinion.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss potential political blow-back that could stem from the state's approval of Nestle's permit.


A long table surrounded by red chairs in a school classroom.
BES Photos / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A lawsuit has been filed to challenge Michigan's ban on public aid for private schools.

The ban has been in place since voters added it to the state Constitution in 1970. A judge recently cited it while blocking the state from giving $2.5 million to private schools for fire drills, inspections, and other state requirements. The Michigan Supreme Court declined to intervene.

The lawsuit was filed Monday on behalf of a group that includes a Roman Catholic school in Grand Rapids, parents and lawmakers.

Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court / court.mi.gov

The Michigan Supreme Court will decide whether it’s legal for judges to order defendants to pay fees and court costs.

One defendant is challenging the practice, which he says violates the state constitution.

Shawn Cameron Junior was ordered to pay more than $1,600 in court costs after he was convicted of assault. He says that amounts to a tax, and only the legislature can enact taxes. Cameron says courts can also be arbitrary in how they set the charges.

Judge's gavel
Pixabay.com

The Michigan Supreme Court says the state must return more than $550 million to school employees who had money deducted for retiree health care.

House Foreclosure
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

new lawsuit says Michigan’s property tax foreclosure laws are unconstitutional and amount to “government sanctioned theft.”

The case was filed this week on behalf of two men who lost Oakland County properties to foreclosure.

One of the men, Uri Rafaeli, lost a rental property in Southfield when he miscalculated the amount of interest he owed on 2011 property taxes by $8.41. Oakland County foreclosed, then sold the home for $24,500.

Traffic lights
Thomas Hawk / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

District judges want Gov. Snyder to drop his opposition to bills that would get rid of so-called driver responsibility fees. They say the fees are ruining people's lives because they lose their driver's license if they can't afford to pay them. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about why Gov. Snyder is concerned about the bills.


Can a politician who breaks the law be forced to quit his job and be ordered not to run again?

That question could interrupt the Michigan Supreme Court’s summer recess.

The Michigan Supreme Court this week said “not yet” to a group trying to stop fracking in Michigan.

The group, The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, is now on its third attempt to get a question on the ballot to ban the controversial process used to drill hard-to-reach pockets of natural gas.

Joan Larsen faces a tangled path to a plum spot on a federal appeals court. The only thing standing in her way is Michigan’s two U.S. Senators.

Michigan Supreme Court
photo courtesy of the MI Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court says religious schools cannot claim a blanket exemption from being sued for violating anti-discrimination laws.

A family sued a Catholic high school in Oakland County. They say the school violated an anti-discrimination law by refusing to admit their daughter because of a learning disability. Among other things, the school argued its operations are protected by religious freedom rights.

Michigan Dept of Corrections

  DETROIT (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court is looking at the case of a Detroit-area man who was convicted of murder based on DNA.

  The issue is whether Johnny Ray Kennedy's rights were violated when a judge refused to appoint an expert at public expense who could help the defense.

  DNA was critical to the case, especially because Kennedy was charged with murder 20 years after the crime. Prosecutors had two experts who could talk to jurors about DNA but Kennedy had none at the 2014 trial.

LAW
user southerfried / morguefile

The Michigan Supreme Court convened in Lansing this week.

Whether or not a student can sue a religious school under the Persons with Disabilities Civil Rights Act was one question before the Court Thursday.

Bettina Winkler was a student at Notre Dame Marist Academy middle school. She was denied admission to the affiliated high school. Winkler says it’s because she has a learning disability.

Nicholas Roumel is Winkler’s attorney. He said Winkler was the only middle school student that wasn’t accepted to the high school.

A courtroom
Bill Ledbetter / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in an unusual case involving a hospital, privacy and a personal protection order.

Tammy McNeil-Marks was fired in 2014 as a clinical manager at MidMichigan Medical Center in Alma. The hospital says she violated privacy rules when she told her lawyer about a patient in the hospital.

It turns out that McNeil-Marks was concerned about her safety because she had a personal protection order against the woman. The woman was served with the order while in a room.

Subterranean / Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in an uncommon case: Can courts intervene when religious schools reject students?

Churches and faith-based schools operate with broad protections under the First Amendment. But this case raises questions about whether a student claiming discrimination can overcome that legal threshold.

The parents of a girl who was rejected by Notre Dame Preparatory School in Pontiac say she was illegally turned down in 2014 because of a learning disability.

Fraser home falling into the sinkhole.
Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A $3 million grant to fix the massive sinkhole in Fraser was at the center of a battle in the state Legislature this week. This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry talk about the fight over the funding, which sparked a row between Macomb County Public Works commissioner Candice Miller and Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekoff before ending in a stalemate.

Courtesy Photo / Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert P. Young, Jr. announced today that he will retire by the end of April.

In a statement released by the court, Young says that he is proud of his accomplishments during his time as Chief Justice. 

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report is raising questions about transparency in Michigan Supreme Court elections.

Craig Mauger is with the Michigan Campaign Finance Network. He says in 2016 so-called "dark money" helped the two Republican incumbents outspend their Democratic challengers by more than 30 to one.

Brian Turner / Flickr Creative Commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The Michigan Supreme Court is considering making changes to rules about how complaints against judges are handled. 

And critics say some of the changes would make it harder to go after judges accused of violating the judicial code of conduct.

The Court proposed the changes for consideration on August 11, 2016, and since then has been accepting written comments from the public. The court held a public hearing on the proposal on January 17, 2017.

Michigan Hall of Justice
Phillip Hofmeister / Creative Commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

The Michigan Supreme Court has named a new chief justice.

Justices unanimously chose Stephen Markman Friday as the new chief. He'll succeed Chief Justice Robert Young, who's held the job since 2011.

Markman was first appointed to the court in 1999 and re-elected in later years.

In a statement issued by the court, Markman says his primary responsibility is to make sure the system of justice is "made readily and fairly available to all."

Judge's gavel
Flickr user Joe Gratz / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Michigan Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments on the rights of criminal defendants to have an attorney during their preliminary exam.

Gary Lewis was convicted of multiple arson charges in 2014. During his preliminary examination, Lewis’s attorney was taken off the case, but the preliminary exam continued anyway.

Now, the Michigan Supreme Court is going to hear arguments on whether Lewis’s conviction should be overturned. He was found guilty at trial.  

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

MACKINAC ISLAND, Mich. (AP) - The families of two sisters whose snowmobile plunged off a cliff on Mackinac Island in 2010 will get a chance to take their case to a jury.

The Michigan Supreme Court last week turned down an appeal from Arctic Cat, the snowmobile maker, although two justices wanted to hear the case. It means a key decision by the state appeals court will stand.

Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - The outgoing chief justice of Michigan's Supreme Court is pushing to move the state's jury duty system to one that eases wait times.

  Chief Justice Robert Young Jr. tells the Detroit Free Press that Michigan's jury process is "extraordinarily stupid," as people often get called for jury duty only to sit around in a courthouse before being sent home.

  Young says jury duty is an important obligation for U.S. citizens and that the court shouldn't burden them by wasting their time.

Rick Pluta / MPRN

The ballot recount in Michigan is over. This time, it’s for good.

This Week in Review, Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and Michigan Radio senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry take a look at the short-lived recount and some of the problems it exposed at the polls, particularly in Detroit. They also look at a bill that would make it legal to hunt wolves in Michigan if the bill makes it through this year’s lame duck session in Lansing.


Michigan's Hall of Justice.
Eridony / flickr

The two races for Michigan Supreme Court have gone to the incumbents.

Michigan Supreme Court Justices Joan Larsen and David Viviano held onto their seats on Michigan’s highest court.

Larsen defeated Wayne County Judge Deborah Thomas and lawyer Kerry Morgan. Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Larsen to the court in 2015 to replace a justice who resigned. She's now been elected to serve the two years remaining on that term.

PONTIAC, Mich. (AP) - The Michigan Supreme Court is interested in the case of a student who was rejected for admission at a Roman Catholic school in Oakland County.

  Under Michigan legal precedent, courts have steered clear of certain decisions made by faith-based schools, saying it would be unconstitutional under the First Amendment.

  But the Supreme Court last week told lawyers to file arguments about whether that 1994 ruling should be overturned. The order lists other issues, too. It's no guarantee that the court will take action.

DETROIT (AP) - Two judges from the Detroit-area are challenging Michigan Supreme Court justices Joan Larsen and David Viviano.

  The two races are the most significant races for statewide office on the Nov. 8 ballot.

  Larsen was a law professor before she was appointed to the court last year by Gov. Rick Snyder. Viviano, a former Macomb County judge, has been on the Supreme Court since 2013. He, too, was appointed by Snyder.

For many years, few people paid any attention to the politics of Michigan Supreme Court justices. Nor were elections for the state’s highest court usually exciting.

That’s because there used to be a presumption that judges were more or less above politics, and that once on the bench, they should remain there as long as they were honest and competent, until the magic age of 70, after which, under the Michigan Constitution, they may finish a current term, but are no longer eligible to run again.


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