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michigan supreme court

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Flickr user Jeepers Media

A lawsuit over a transgender person using the women's locker room at a gym can continue.

The Michigan Appeals Court says Yvette Cormier can argue that her rights were violated under the state's consumer-protection law.

Cormier says a Planet Fitness in Midland terminated her membership after she told other women about a transgender gym member who was using the women's locker room.

Michigan Supreme Court
Courtesy of the MI Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court will try to wrap up its cases by the time the session ends Tuesday.

The court will decide if police officers can photograph and fingerprint someone if they don’t have an ID.

This stems from a Grand Rapids Police Department policy. The ACLU says the policy disproportionately affected African Americans. The incidents in the lawsuits are from 2011 and 2014.

The police department says the photograph and fingerprint – or P and P – procedure is no longer routine.

Gavel
Joe Gratz / Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

 

The American Civil Liberties Union is challenging the state of Michigan over its handling of the state's sex offender registry. 

In 2016, the 6th Circuit Court ruled that aspects of Michigan’s Sex Offender Registry Act, SORA, were unconstitutional.

The court’s opinion specifically noted portions of the act which allowed the state to retroactively impose punishments on individuals without due process. 

The state of Michigan appealed the circuit court's ruling, sending Does vs Snyder to the U.S. Supreme Court. In October 2017, the Supreme Court decided not to take up the case, upholding the 6th Circuit Court's unanimous decision. 

It has now been nearly two years since the original ruling and the Legislature has failed to make any reforms to the law.

At the end of June, the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Michigan to force the state to finally make changes to its sex offender registry. 

Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court

 

The Voters Not Politicians proposal is on the ballot this fall. It would establish an independent commission to draw the legislative and congressional district boundaries instead of allowing the party in power to draw them. If it passes, it would put an end to gerrymandering.

The party in power, the Republicans, want it off the ballot. 

The proposal to change how Michigan draws the lines for congressional and legislative districts is about to go on the ballot. But, will it stay there?

The question to create an independent commission to handle the job of redistricting is poised to become Proposal 2 on the November ballot. The group that gives the OK to what questions make it on the ballot meets Wednesday.

Update, June 13 at 10:30 a.m.:

The group Citizens Protecting Michigan’s Constitution has filed an appeal with the state Supreme Court and asked the justices to put an immediate hold on the lower court decision that would place the question on the November ballot.

Michigan Supreme Court
Courtesy of the MI Supreme Court

The Michigan Supreme Court is interested in the case of a former police chief in the Upper Peninsula who's been barred from running for public office because of a corruption conviction.

Fred Paquin wanted to run for St. Ignace City Council in 2013 and 2015 but was told that a conviction disqualified him under the Michigan Constitution. He pleaded guilty in 2010 to misusing federal money given to the Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians when he was the tribe's police chief.

Paquin says he shouldn't be barred from running for city council because the tribe is sovereign.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack.
Bridget Mary McCormack for Justice

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bridget McCormack said Thursday that judges should drop rhetoric that "would validly call into question judicial impartiality," The Associated Press reported.

She says it's important these days, especially "when our norms of public discourse appear under stress.”

According to AP, McCormack was referring to a Jackson County case involving a man who broke into the home of a police officer and trashed it, even breaking a 100-gallon aquarium.

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 with books on a desk
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
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."

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