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michigan supreme court

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court is likely to be the last stop for a group that's trying to put a fracking ban on the ballot.

Hydraulic fracturing, commonly known as fracking, is a controversial process involving pumping large amounts of water, sand and chemicals into deep into the ground to break up shale deposits releasing oil or natural gas.   

Fracking has boosted oil and natural gas production. But critics say it damages the environment.

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

 

 

It was an election year in a divided America. Tens of thousands of absentee ballots were sent out by the state. Eventually, the Michigan Supreme Court weighed in. 

 

No, we’re not talking about the 2020 election, but rather the presidential election of 1864. It was a contest between Abraham Lincoln of the Republican Party and former General George B. McClellan of the Democratic Party.

 

Michigan Supreme Court
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

A deadlock on the state Supreme Court could allow taxpayer funds to go to religious and other non-public schools. The money would partially reimburse the schools for the costs of complying with health and safety mandates.

The court deadlocked 3-3 and one justice abstained. That left standing a lower court ruling that non-public schools can be reimbursed for some expenses. That’s despite a 1970 voter-approved amendment that says public funds cannot support non-public schools. 

woman in judicial robe
Michigan Supreme Court

Changes are coming to the Michigan Supreme Court. Voters elected West Michigan attorney Elizabeth Welch and reelected Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack. Both were Democratic Party nominees, and in the new term, the court will flip to a majority of justices backed by Democrats. The court will also have more women than men.

This week’s election is shifting Michigan’s state Supreme Court to a Democratic Party-nominee majority.

Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack and Elizabeth Welch emerged from a crowded field as the winners of Michigan’s Supreme Court election.

headshot of woman in judge's robe
David Trumpie of Trumpie Photography

Michigan voters will elect two justices to the state Supreme Court in November. Bridget Mary McCormack is one of the seven candidates.

woman holding Michigan law book
Vote Nepton

Michigan voters will elect two justices to the state Supreme Court in November. Katherine Mary Nepton is one of the seven candidates.

woman sitting in front of shelf with blue books
Mary Kelly for Justice

Michigan voters will elect two justices to the state Supreme Court in November. Mary Kelly is one of the seven candidates. 

headshot of woman with shoulder-length hair
Susan Hubbard for Justice

Michigan voters will elect two justices to the state Supreme Court in November. Susan Hubbard is one of the seven candidates. 

headshot of man with glasses
Courtesy of Kerry Lee Morgan

Michigan voters will elect two justices to the state Supreme Court in November. Kerry Lee Morgan is one of the seven candidates.

Michigan voters will elect two justices to the state Supreme Court in November. Elizabeth Welch is one of the seven candidates.

man wearing judges robe, arms crossed, learning on wall
Brock Swartzle for Justice

Michigan voters will elect two justices to the state Supreme Court in November. Brock Swartzle is one of the seven candidates. 

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer at a press conference holding a "vote" sign
State of Michigan

A Michigan Supreme Court opinion has created confusion surrounding the state’s COVID-19 response. But Governor Gretchen Whitmer says she still has options to require people to abide by mask and social distancing advice. Health experts say that remains the most effective way to slow the spread of COVID-19.

The opinion raises lots of questions, and no shortage of assumptions, on the status of the governor’s emergency orders. Those orders affect stores and shops, schools, as well as indoor and outdoor gatherings.

MDHHS

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is imposing new mask requirements, gathering limitations and restaurant capacity rules tied to COVID-19.

Last Friday, the Michigan Supreme Court issued an opinion that could restrict Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s authority to issue executive orders in response to the pandemic.

On Monday, state health department director Robert Gordon stepped into the void with an order of his own. Gordon says he is using authority unconnected to the court’s ruling to keep much of the governor’s coronavirus restrictions in place.

“Orders have helped to stem the spread of COVID. They have reduced the number of cases. They have saved lives,” Gordon told reporters on a conference call on Monday. “We need shared action through orders as much today as we did in March and April.”

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court has issued an opinion on months of orders by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer that were aimed at preventing the spread of the coronavirus.

The court says Whitmer illegally drew authority from a 1945 law that doesn't apply. The court determined that the law was an "unlawful delegation of legislative power to the executive branch in violation of the Michigan Constitution."

Judge's gavel with books on a desk
Pixabay.com

The Michigan Supreme Court has appointed a special master to help decide whether a Wayne County judge committed judicial misconduct.

Two female prosecutors have accused Third Circuit Court Judge Bruce Morrow of making sexually suggestive and explicit comments during a 2019 homicide trial—from derogatorily comparing one prosecutor’s questioning of a medical examiner to sexual intercourse, to asking another about her height and weight (see the accusations here, and Morrow’s response to them here).

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, the Michigan Supreme Court is scheduled to hear arguments in a legal challenge to Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s use of emergency powers during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Whitmer has faced numerous legal challenges to their use of emergency powers during the coronavirus outbreak. Just last month, the Michigan Court of Appeals sided with the governor in a lawsuit filed by Republican lawmakers.  

James Colby Hook III, Creative Commons, some rights reserved

Today on Stateside, a new ruling from the Michigan Supreme Court will have major implications on how counties collect money on tax foreclosed homes. As back to school season comes into view, how are teachers feeling about returning to work in uncertain times. Plus, how Sundown Towns across Michigan defined systemic racism in housing and neighborhoods.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court has dealt a blow to county treasurers with a new ruling, finding that counties can’t keep any profits they get from selling tax-foreclosed homes at auction.

The ruling stems from a lawsuit, Rafaeli v. Oakland County, that challenged one part of Michigan’s tax foreclosure law. The current law, which dates back to 1999, allows county treasurers—who collect delinquent property taxes on behalf of local communities—to pocket the whole sale price of auctioned properties, regardless of the amount of delinquent tax debt.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The Michigan Supreme Court has overturned orders that directed an Owosso barber to close his shop during the coronavirus pandemic.

Lester Graham

The Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan has delivered its petition signatures to the Secretary of State’s office. The group hopes its initiative is on the ballot in November. 

“Our initiative will ban horizontal fracking and the waste that comes from horizontal fracked wells as well as change the state’s policy about climate change and maximizing oil and gas production,” said LuAnne Kozma, the campaign director of the committee.

michigan supreme court
Michigan Courts

Attorneys won’t be in the Michigan Supreme Court chambers this week as they argue cases. Instead, the state’s highest court will hear oral arguments online due to the COVID-19 crisis.

This is the first time the state’s highest court will use the internet to hear appeals and question attorneys. All sides have to agree for cases to be argued online, and litigants will still have to file written briefs with the court.

courts.michigan.gov

The Michigan Supreme Court is telling state courts to consider drastic steps to curb the spread of coronavirus. And some of those courts, along with some federal courts, have done so already.

One of those recommended steps: suspending most civil and criminal jury trials until the threat from the pandemic ebbs.

Cheryl Casey / Adobe Stock

A case before the Michigan Supreme Court asks this question: How much can the government take from you if you don’t pay your property taxes?

cell phone on table
William Hook / Unsplash

The Michigan Supreme Court has adopted a significant rule change that will allow the public to bring cell phones, laptops and tablets into all state courthouses and courtrooms.

The new rule will also let members of the public use their phones to photograph state court records.

The new rule will take effect on May 1, 2020. Currently, rules for personal electronic devices vary a lot among local courts.

cell phone on table
William Hook / Unsplash

The Michigan Supreme Court is considering a change that would allow cell phones in court houses. They’re taking public comment this week.

Right now, local judges are allowed to decide whether or not cell phones can be brought into a court.

Judge's gavel with books on a desk
Pixabay.com

Some residents of northern Michigan could be eligible to have their criminal records expunged. The Michigan Supreme Court and University of Detroit Mercy’s law school will be holding a series of clinics that will help guide people through that process.

Flickr user Joe Gratz / HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The Michigan Supreme Court says prosecutors in criminal cases cannot rely on experts to testify on how often children typically lie or tell the truth about sex abuse. The court says juries were swayed by opinions, not the facts, in two individual cases.

Michigan Supreme Court
Subterranean / Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court says the state’s tribal governments do not fall under a constitutional provision that can prevent some people from running for office.

Fred Paquin was on the board of the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians' governing body. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to defraud the United States in 2010.

Michigan Supreme Court
Subterranean / Wikimedia Commons

The Michigan Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Macomb County retirees’ benefits can be altered.

A class-action lawsuit against the county involved 16,000 unionized Macomb County retirees. The majority opinion says Macomb County's collective-bargaining agreements did not give the plaintiffs the right to unalterable and lifetime retirement health care benefits.

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