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MICHIGAN LEGAL NEWS
 
Metro Detroiters rally for a free press after White House ban

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
Two days after the White House excluded major news outlets from a media briefing, dozens of people rallied outside the Sterling Heights plant where the Detroit Free Press, the Detroit News and other publications are printed in support of a free press and the First Amendment.

 
Lansing considers a tax incentive for building on blighted land

Michigan Radio - February 27, 2017
Formerly nicknamed the “Dan Gilbert bills” after the prominent Detroit businessman and developer, legislation to give developers a tax incentive for building on blighted land sailed through a full Senate vote and is now awaiting a hearing in the House. The same kind of incentives came up in Lansing last year. But they didn’t go anywhere, because some lawmakers were worried it would only help big cities like Detroit.

 
With tax cut bill dead, lawmakers push other bills to ease burden

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
A cut to the individual income tax from 4.25% to 3.9% may have died in the state House of Representatives on Thursday on a 52-55 vote, but other lawmakers introduced a number of bills last week that would lower the tax burden on Michigan residents.

 
Huizenga’s town hall runs more than 4 hours long as constituents ask tough questions

Michigan Radio - February 27, 2017
Congressman Bill Huizenga held a town hall meeting today north of Grand Rapids that last more than four hours, a bit longer than he anticipated. “And that’s okay,” he said. “What I knew was going to happen was, after two hours or even three hours if I had said ‘OK, you know maybe we’ve had enough,’ there would be all these calls of, you know, ‘He shut it down early!'”

 
DPD union president due in court March 3

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
Detroit Police Officers Association President Mark Diaz has been suspended without pay by the city’s police department after prosecutors charged him with reckless driving and malicious destruction of property at a school.

 
Detroit neighborhood residents worry over jail move

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
As Wayne County officials cast a critical eye on billionaire Dan Gibert's proposal to build a new criminal justice complex outside of downtown, people in two Detroit neighborhoods are considering the consequences of big changes where they live and work if the project goes through.

 
State credits end this week on Flint water bills

Michigan Radio - February 27, 2017
This week, Flint residents will lose a state subsidy on their monthly water bills. The state has spent more than $40 million subsidizing Flint’s water bills, as part of the response to the city’s lead-tainted tap water crisis. However, the governor’s office says the credits are ending this month because Flint’s water quality is improving.

 
Trott, Dingell urge EPA for swift Line 5 review

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
U.S. Reps. Debbie Dingell and David Trott are urging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to speed up its review of a Canadian oil transport company’s work plan for a pipeline running through the Great Lakes. In a Friday letter, Dingell, D-Dearborn, and Trott, R-Birmingham, urged the EPA’s Chief Administrator Scott Pruitt to expedite a review of Enbridge’s Line 5 work plan after learning of the report that Enbridge posted online last year.

 
Oakland County medical marijuana case comes at key moment

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
Donny Barnes said he just wants to be a regular guy. He just wants to run his small businesses scattered around Oakland County. Just wants to hang out with his family at their split-level home on a woodsy street. And just wants to keep using medical marijuana for calming the neck and shoulder pain that Barnes said has plagued him ever since he was in a snowboarding accident at age 19.

 
Michigan students performing at the bottom of the pack nationally

MLive - February 27, 2017
Line up Michigan's standardized test scores to other states, and the results don't look great. The Great Lakes State ranks at or near the bottom of the pack in several important categories, including whether more students are meeting academic targets. And Michigan ranks dead last nationally in proficiency growth since 2003.

 
Suspect arrested in lasering of MSP helicopter

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
Minutes after a Michigan State Police helicopter was lasered while patrolling over Detroit on Friday night, a man was arrested in the crime, and he will soon face federal charges, authorities say. The helicopter was doing a routine patrol over Detroit at about 8 p.m. Friday when the laser hit.

 
Voters at town halls wonder: Just where are our lawmakers?

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
From banners draped over freeways to daily protests and both real and faux town hall meetings, this congressional recess has shaped up as a call to arms for activists looking to resist the administration and policies of President Donald Trump. But it’s Republican members of Congress — either in person or in absentia — who are taking the brunt of the ire from constituents, both in Michigan and across the nation.

 
Grassroots group calls for redistricting reform

Michigan Radio - February 27, 2017
A citizens group wants to change how political boundaries are drawn in Michigan. Right now, the Legislature draws new lines for legislative and congressional districts every 10 years following the Census. John Hanieski is an economist who says, right now, the numbers don’t add up.

 
Map shows where Michigan DEQ is investigating vapor intrusion

MLive - February 27, 2017
Michigan environmental health regulators are asking for $4.9 million to staff-up and buy more equipment to address an influx of toxic vapor intrusion sites that began last year and is expected to escalate.

 
Hamtrack schools become ‘safe havens’ from Trump orders

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
Jody Gordon’s fifth-grade class buzzes with math terms like imperfect fractions and numerators. An American flag hangs above the chalkboard, and students read books like “Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer.” The Dickinson East Elementary School class could be almost any public school classroom in America.

 
 
NATIONAL LEGAL NEWS
 
Courts can be undermined in these 3 ways. This is how to protect them.

Washington Post - February 27, 2017
Many who oppose President Trump’s agenda and approach to governing are hoping that U.S. courts will defend the nation’s core democratic values. They took heart last month, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit upheld a lower court’s ruling bloc­king Trump’s executive order restricting travel from seven majority-Muslim countries.

 
Muslim Refugees Were Admitted at a Lower Rate During Trump’s Refugee Ban

New York Times - February 27, 2017
During the week when President Trump’s refugee ban was in effect, refugees were allowed in on a case-by-case basis. Just 15 percent of the 843 refugees who were admitted during this time were Muslim, compared with a weekly average of 45 percent in 2016.

 
White House: Too early to say whether a special prosecutor should look into apparent election meddling by Russia

Washington Post - February 27, 2017
A White House spokeswoman said Sunday that it’s premature to say that Attorney General Jeff Sessions should recuse himself and appoint a special prosecutor to look into apparent Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election aimed at helping elect Donald Trump.

 
Ohio Gov. John Kasich: House Republicans could foil Obamacare replacement

USA Today - February 27, 2017
Longtime Trump critic and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, two days after trying to mend fences at the White House, turned on Sunday to Republicans on Capitol Hill, saying that hard-line members of his own party in the House could be the biggest obstacle to passing an Obamacare replacement law.

 
Trump budget plan boosts Pentagon, trims State Dept, EPA: officials

Reuters - February 27, 2017
The White House will send federal departments a budget proposal on Monday containing the defense spending increase President Donald Trump promised, financed partly by cuts to the U.S. State Department, Environmental Protection Agency and other non-defense programs, two officials familiar with the proposal said.

 
FBI Lawyer Sting Rattles Billion-Dollar Whistle-Blower Unit

Bloomberg - February 27, 2017
The Justice Department offers secrecy and cash to whistle-blowers for information about companies that cheated the government. But one former government attorney is accused of using that information for his own gain. Turning the tables on a unit that can spend years investigating fraud cases, FBI agents are now questioning Justice Department lawyers about their ex-colleague.

 
NC law banning registered sex offenders from social media faces challenge at Supreme Court Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/news/politics-government/article134741084.html#storylink=cpy

Kansas City Star - February 27, 2017
Police arrested Durham, N.C. resident and convicted sex offender Lester G. Packingham, Jr. after he posted a message praising God on Facebook. Now, the Supreme Court will weigh Packingham’s challenge to the North Carolina law that bans registered sex offenders from visiting online social networking sites that could be frequented by minors.

 
Ethics Watchdog Has Big Impact On Federal Workers, But Not On Trump

National Public Radio - February 27, 2017
On Monday, the Senate will vote on Wilbur Ross' nomination as the U.S. commerce secretary. As required by the Ethics in Government Act, the billionaire businessman has reached an agreement with the Office of Government Ethics to sell off most of his holdings.

 
Philip Bilden, Nominee for Secretary of the Navy, Withdraws

New York Times - February 27, 2017
President Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Navy withdrew from consideration on Sunday, saying that meeting the government’s ethics guidelines would require too great a financial sacrifice.

 
Advocates warn ‘dreamers’ to lie low as Trump ramps up deportation plans

Washington Post - February 27, 2017
Immigration lawyers and advocacy groups are advising undocumented immigrants not to enroll in a federal deferred-action program created by President Barack Obama over fears that the Trump administration will use their personal information to detain and deport them.

 
Report: N. Korea executes officials with anti-aircraft guns for 'enraging' Kim Jong Un

USA Today - February 27, 2017
North Korea executed five senior security officials for making false reports that “enraged” leader Kim Jong Un, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency reported Monday. The five were killed with anti-aircraft guns, the National Intelligence Service said in a private briefing to lawmakers, according to the news agency.

 
U.S. says Trump order will not undermine data transfer deals with EU

Reuters - February 27, 2017
An executive order signed by U.S. President Donald Trump to crack down on illegal immigration will not undermine two data transfer agreements between the United States and the EU, Washington wrote in a letter to allay European concerns.

 
Trillions of Dollars Are at Stake When Trump Speaks to Congress

Bloomberg - February 27, 2017
Donald Trump’s address to Congress on Tuesday is taking on the importance of a State of the Union speech when it comes to U.S. financial markets. For investors relying on more than a year of campaign promises of a pro-growth agenda to push U.S. stocks to record highs, the dollar surging and bond yields climbing, the prime-time speech to House and Senate lawmakers couldn’t come any sooner.

 
Here's What To Watch For When Trump Addresses Congress

National Public Radio - February 27, 2017
Tuesday night, President Trump will address a joint session of Congress for the first time. After a chaotic first month, it will be a chance for Trump to reset his relationship with voters, who currently give him historically-low approval ratings.

 
He’s a Local Pillar in a Trump Town. Now He Could Be Deported.

New York Times - February 27, 2017
Ask residents of this coal-mining crossroads about President Trump’s decision to crack down on undocumented immigrants and most offer no protest. Mr. Trump, who easily won this mostly white southern Illinois county, is doing what he promised, they say. As Terry Chambers, a barber on Main Street, put it, the president simply wants “to get rid of the bad eggs.”

 
Headstones Vandalized At Jewish Cemetery In Philadelphia

National Public Radio - February 27, 2017
Philadelphia police say approximately 100 headstones have been damaged at a Jewish cemetery in the northeastern part of the city. The vandalism occurred less than a week after a similar episode in a Jewish cemetery near St. Louis, where more than 150 graves were targeted.

 
 
OPINIONS
 
Why Millennials Should Be Worried About Supreme Court Nominee Neil Gorsuch's Originalism

Forbes - February 27, 2017
After the president announced Gorsuch as his Supreme Court nominee, he shook his hand, and tried to pull Gorsuch towards him. The judge, rooted in his spot, with his arm fully extended, shook the president’s hand but did not come closer. I smiled. “This man will not be pulled around by anyone,” I thought.

 
Mental Illness, Untreated Behind Bars

New York Times - February 27, 2017
President Trump has talked quite a bit about cracking down on a nonexistent crime wave. Rarely does he talk about the different kinds of support law enforcement needs or what actually keeps communities safe.

 
Donald Trump's latest step toward tyranny

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
There's a name for a government that bars media outlets it views as unsympathetic from access to its workings. It's not "democracy." Just ask White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, as someone did in December, shortly before Spicer accepted his current post as President Donald Trump's proselytizer-in-chief.

 
It's time our country embrace a National Service Corps for our young people

Michigan Radio - February 27, 2017
Some years ago there was an effort to boost enrollment at Wayne State University, where I teach. One administrator told me that they were admitting "anyone with a Pell Grant and a pulse." Unfortunately, the result wasn’t what everyone was hoping for.

 
Bankole: Mayor’s race can’t be won on race card alone

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
Detroit’s mayoral race should not be won on the altar of racism. It should be won on the merit of the candidates who are seeking to lead this majority African-American city. Mayor Mike Duggan should stand on his record and face the hard questions about how his policies have impacted people in the city.

 
School slide worries suburban parents, and should worry Lansing, too

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
Heather Crane moved to Garden City long before she and husband Ray thought about having kids. But by the time Sonia, now 13, was on the way, the Cranes knew they’d chosen the right place to raise their family. It's the same for Leon Dixon, who left Detroit six years ago for Redford Township, where his daughter Taylor is a high school sophomore.

 
Opinion: Apprentices can build a future

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
The tradition of apprenticeship is more than 2,000 years old, with early references appearing in the writings of the Greek philosophers, Plato and Xenophon. It was the system of apprenticeship and training that has moved construction from the covered amphitheaters of ancient Rome to the gothic arches of medieval cathedrals, to the steam engines and railways of the industrial revolution.

 
5 ideas liberals and conservatives could agree on

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
Donald Trump’s election unsettled many people. Hundreds of thousands of people are protesting his presidency, appointees and policies. And here in Michigan, Republicans control the governor’s office and both chambers of the Michigan Legislature. If you find yourself in the political minority, take heart.

 
Future for Muslims remains uncertain

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
The Sterling Heights City Council last week reached a settlement with the American Islamic Community Center and the U.S. Department of Justice. Nevertheless, the implications of this case and the future of other cases are more jarring now than on the day the suit was filed in August 2016.

 
Republican David Trott eludes constituents, for now

Detroit Free Press - February 27, 2017
It's good to be president, even when the fake polls in the fake news media suggest that a majority of your constituents suspect that you are in over your head. The job is notoriously difficult, but you get a lot of protection. There are people to protect you from bad news, people to protect you from angry protesters, and people to protect you from insubordinate cabinet members.

 
Making a case for Judge Gorsuch

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
The U.S. Senate faces an important decision as it considers the confirmation of Judge Neil Gorsuch to America’s highest judicial office. As the nominee for U.S. Supreme Court justice, Gorsuch’s judicial history and philosophy will be rigorously reviewed — and rightly so. Upholding our Constitution is paramount.

 
Editorial: Wizardry needed to remake Obamacare

Detroit News - February 27, 2017
President Donald Trump says he will deliver his plan for replacing Obamacare within the next several days. The challenge he faces is coming up with a new health insurance system that keeps the popular portions of the Affordable Care Act while slashing rapidly rising costs. And one more: He must unite a Republican congressional caucus that has starkly different visions of what the government’s role should be in providing health insurance.

 
 
STATE BAR OF MICHIGAN BLOG & OTHER NEWS
 
Michigan Police Agencies Adopt Evidence-Based Eyewitness ID Rules

SBM Blog - February 27, 2017
Nearly 300 police agencies that work to protect more than 80 percent of Michigan’s citizens have now adopted scientifically sound eyewitness identification guidelines recommended by a task force convened by the State Bar of Michigan in 2011.

 
New Deadline: Order Alphabetical Roster Directory by March 15

SBM Blog - February 27, 2017
Important changes to the SBM print member directory will take effect with the April 2017 issue. The new, portable directory will be more accurate, much less costly to print and distribute, and takes into account substantial changes in member preferences and use over the last decade. It will not include members’ contact information, but will have the information members have told us they value most in a print directory.

 
SBM Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program to Host 'Digital Age's Health Crisis' Program

SBM Blog - February 27, 2017
The State Bar of Michigan Lawyers and Judges Assistance Program will host a training program for providers called, "The Digital Age's Public Health Crisis: Sex and Porn Addiction," at 9 a.m. on Friday, March 17 at the State Bar of Michigan Michael Franck Building, located at 306 Townsend St. in Lansing.

 
SBM Members: You Get a Discount to ABA TECHSHOW

SBM Blog - February 27, 2017
State Bar of Michigan members get a special $150 discount to ABA TECHSHOW, which will take place March 15-18 at the Hilton Chicago. To get the discount, register for ABA TECHSHOW and use this discount code: EP1701.

 
Casemaker and vLex launch partnership

SBM Blog - February 27, 2017
Every member of the State Bar of Michigan gets free access to Casemaker, which normally costs hundreds of dollars a month, as a benefit of his or her membership in the State Bar of Michigan.

 
Representative Assembly Accepting Nominations for Annual Awards

SBM Blog - February 27, 2017
Nominations are being accepted for two State Bar of Michigan Representative Assembly awards. The Michael Franck Award is given annually to an attorney who has made an outstanding contribution to the improvement of the legal profession. The Unsung Hero Award is presented to a lawyer who has exhibited the highest standards of practice and commitment for the benefit of others.