A report ordered by the state Supreme Court gives judges guidance on some alternatives to incarcerating defendants who can’t afford to pay fines or fees. Jailing someone who can’t afford to pay has been deemed unconstitutional. Continue reading
Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Betty Weaver has died. She was 74. Continue reading
Michigan’s Junior U.S. Senator is leading a new push at the federal level to fight back against human trafficking.
A group of young conservatives is in Michigan to meet with state Republican leaders. Its goal is to get the party to adopt a change in its platform at the Republican National Convention in the summer of 2016. It wants the GOP to drop its opposition to same-sex marriage. Continue reading
State lawmakers are considering a bill that would regulate milk banks. These banks supply breast milk from donors to hospitals with neonatal units around the state.
Currently, there are no state standards for breast milk quality or distribution in Michigan. Continue reading
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office has delivered the state’s defense of its same-sex marriage ban to the US Supreme Court.
The state’s 59-page brief focuses largely on states’ rights. The attorney general argues the case is not specifically about marriage, but who gets to decide the question.
From the brief’s summation:
“This case is not about the best definition of marriage or any stereotypes about families. Families
come in all types, and parents of all types—married or single, gay or straight—love their children. This case is about whether the Fourteenth Amendment imposes a single marriage view on all states such that the people have no right to decide. It does not.”
The brief says the US Constitution is silent on the issue, so the decision on defining who can get married is left to states or their voters. The brief says Michigan voters made a reasonable choice when they approved the ban in 2004, and only they should be allowed to reverse it.
April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse are the lesbian couple challenging the ban. They say it violates their equal protection rights and the equal protections rights of the children they are raising together, but cannot jointly adopt.
Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee will also defend marriage bans when the Supreme Court hears arguments in the case next month.
There were celebrations in four Michigan counties where a year ago same-sex couples crowded into courthouses to get married. That was right after a federal judge struck down Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban.
At the state Capitol, Democrats have called for a new statewide vote on Michigan’s ban on same-sex marriage. It was approved by voters in 2004.
Democrats rolled out a package of legislation that would also repeal state laws that discriminate against same-sex couples. One would recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states. Another would specifically allow gay and lesbian couples to jointly file state tax returns.
The state House has adopted legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to continue to turn away LGBT couples — even if the US Supreme Court legalizes same-sex marriage.
Attorneys for April DeBoer and Jayne Rowse say their challenge before the US Supreme Court to Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban focus on the harmful effects on children. Continue reading
A state appeals court judge has ruled there was no violation of Michigan’s open meetings act when the state Capitol was closed while the Legislature debated and voted on a right-to-work law. Judge Deborah Servitto dismissed the lawsuit without allowing the case to go to trial.
More than 300 gay and lesbian couples in Michigan are legally married now that Governor Rick Snyder has decided not to contest a court order. It says the state has to recognize the marriages that took place last spring.
More than 150 members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Mount Pleasant are awaiting a judge’s decision on whether to re-open their disenrollment case.
The Michigan Bureau of Elections says Gov. Rick Snyder did not break campaign finance laws during his State of the State speech last month. Continue reading
A federal appeals court says a former assistant state attorney general owes millions of dollars for stalking and harassing a gay student leader at the University of Michigan. Continue reading
More than 200 members of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe of Mount Pleasant are expected to face the possibility of disenrollment from the tribe Friday morning. Continue reading
A 24-year-old Macomb county woman is expected to be arraigned Wednesday in connection with the the death of a baby whose body was found at a Roseville recycling center.
Police originally believed the baby may had come from Roscommon, Alpena or Midland counties. According to police, the woman now in custody gave birth on December 22 in a garage in the Detroit suburb of Eastpointe.
They said she kept the baby in the garage, with minimal care until it died about three days later. Continue reading
Michigan’s same-sex marriage ban will be one of four the U-S Supreme Court will consider to decide the issue for the nation. Continue reading
Slavery has been abolished, but state officials say for all practical purposes it is still around today in the form of human trafficking.
New laws take effect in Michigan next week to increase punishments for trafficking. Continue reading
A federal judge says the state must recognize the marriages of 300 gay and lesbian couples. They were married last year during a one-day window in Michigan when it was legal.
The Michigan Supreme Court will decide later this year whether the right-to-work law applies to state employee unions. The court just heard the legal challenge to the law filed by state employee unions. They say the state civil service authority supersedes the law adopted by the Legislature in 2012.
People would be able to petition the court that convicted them to remove up to two misdemeanors or one felony. Law enforcement officials would still be able to see the convictions. Continue reading
The Michigan Supreme Court says schools districts cannot sue the state under the Headlee Amendment for underfunding K-through-12 education.