Category Archives: Courts

MI Supreme Court report guides judges on indigent defendants

Michigan Supreme Court building

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

Young conservatives push for change in GOP platform on marriage

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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

MI’s defense of same-sex marriage ban delivered to Supreme Court

Supreme court

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.

Democrats propose rollback of marriage ban with anniversary of DeBoer decision

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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.
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DeBoer attorney says SCOTUS arguments will focus on children

Bob Fluke of Lansing brought a gay pride flag to the inauguration. He wants the governor and lawmakers to make the issue a priority.

Bob Fluke of Lansing brought a gay pride flag to the inauguration. He wants the governor and lawmakers to make the issue a priority.

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

Arraignment set for Macomb County woman accused of leaving baby at recycling center

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

Supreme Court hears state employee right-to-work case

gavelThe 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.
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Bill allowing removal of convictions from public records heads to Gov. Snyder

file000495587744Some Michiganders may soon be able to have their criminal convictions removed from public records.

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