Changes To Michigan Law May Be Unconstitutional Says New Lawsuit

A new lawsuit from Oakland County in Michigan has alleged that recent changes to the state law may be unconstitutional. The law was originally voted through in 2013, but it has not yet been implemented. It is set to go into effect in November, but this lawsuit seeks a stay on that implementation.

The name of the law is the Michigan Indigent Defense Commission Act. They contest that the law takes away the constitutional authority of the Michigan Supreme Court’s authority to set the rules that govern law in the state of Michigan.

Attorneys for Oakland County state that they do not want to take away the ability for the indigent to have access to an attorney. They say that they just want to make sure that any changes to the law are constitutional. A spokesperson for the Attorney General in the state of Michigan has declined to give a comment on this case. She does not want to address something that has to work its way through the courts. It is the tradition of the government to not make statements about litigation that is still pending.

Detroit News says that the lawsuit intends to take aim at the idea that the state government must reimburse local governments when new state regulations come into play. This is written into the law because it is believed that it would not be fair for the local governments to take on too much of the burden of new regulations.

Oakland County has a budget of just $3 million for indigent defense and would like to be reimbursed to a greater extent for the new changes to the law. There is not yet a date set for the court to hear the case. This is something that will be an interesting test case in the courts.

Helping People Exercise Their Lawful Rights

Law can be a rather tricky field, to say the least. Anyone involved with the field is well aware of just how intricate it can be. It turns out that human language can be remarkably vague and open for differing interpretations. One needs to be able to sort out quite a bit of information from often ambiguous sources in order to work within the legal system. In fact, part of the field is translating legal nomenclature to something the average person can more easily understand. Most people entering into the legal field are well aware of that fact. What’s often more surprising is how often people don’t even exercise the rights they’re entitled to under the law. Rhode Island joins a growing number of states who are trying to help people recognize what they’re entitled to under the law. The first and arguably most important measure is helping people vote.

There’s quite a few reason for states joining this initiative. One of the most important is that it might help encourage people to vote. People often come into the process with the idea that voting for things related to the law will be as complicated as practicing law. Once they actually take part in the process they usually see that this is the true beauty of representational systems of government. The actual participation in the system doesn’t have any real prerequisites other than citizenship. Or at least that’s the case in states which use automatic voter registration to cut through red tape.

It’s also notable that the measure passed with bipartisan support. No matter what political party one agrees with, it’s clear that everyone should have a voice in how they function. By helping people vote the government will be better able to represent everyone’s needs. Because in the end that’s what law is within democratic societies. Law is the process by which a society governs itself. However, that’s only true if the people within a society are actually participating in the process.

Dog Walkers Now Have To Have A License According To New Ruling In New York

Pet owners all over the country are in outrage over the recent ruling over dog walkers and dog sitters in the state of New York. According to this new ruling, dog walkers and sitters are required to have a license if they want to charge clients for taking care of their animals. People have begun taking to social media to talk about the new ruling and how it does not go by what the state’s notion of work and employment.

Dog sitters are now in a twirl about acquiring this license if they want to continue with their job. A lot of people who take up dog sitting do it as a part time job, which is why they feel like a proper license is a bit of an overkill when it comes to whether or not they can offer their skills and make money on the side. Numerous people have also pointed out that a good number of these people who partake in these kinds of jobs are high school students who just want to make a little pocket money on the side. Now, their simple acts of taking care of their neighbor’s cats are deemed as illegal, with a chance of punishment being conferred onto them.

Numerous websites like DogVacay are also facing a backlash because their users are now required to have a license before registering and offering their services. This has caused them to have to put in extra measures to ensure that this new law is enforced. This has caused a severe amount of losses for many people who are involved in this business.

Since the law was passed, numerous people have been issued notices for continuing their operations without a valid license. As of now, the state is making these offenders pay a fine of a thousand dollars.

Parole for O.J. Simpson On Charges of Robbery 13 Years After The Murder of His Wife and Friend

Nicole Simpson and Ronald Goldman were both killed outside of a restaurant in 1994. Nicole’s husband was first charged with the murder however that court proceedings led to an acquittal. Even though Simpson was found free of charges, he was brought up in a civil liability for the deaths and was ordered to pay the families $33.5 million dollars worth of damages and most of that has been left unpaid.

13 Years later, Simpson and 4 others stormed into a hotel room in Las Vegas to gather belongings that he says were rightfully his. They stormed the room with guns out and this led to a charge in which he was found guilty of.

O.J. will now go in front of the parole board again in Nevada to plead with them to release him out on parole. Simpson should be the one person who would normally receive parole due to the fact that he has been the model inmate and his conduct in prison has left him with a clean record but what happens when those parole board members recall the murders of the century. In many cases, the history of the person is blocked by the wrong doings or what is said to have happened and the good behavior of the person is still blocked out due to the reputation.

It was this same board that offered him a good parole pardon in 2013 which led to him serving 4 more years on the charges of robbery. This time around, if the parole board decides to go in his favor, O.J. will be free to walk from prison on October 1st.

The parole board typically needs a few days to weeks in order to reach a decision on a parole hearing however with Simpson, the decision will be made instantly due to the high celebrity profile that comes with Simpson.

Will Trump’s Lawyers Claim Executive Privilege Regarding Comey Memo?

An unnamed source in the Trump administration says that Trump’s attorneys plan to file a complaint regarding former FBI Director James Comey’s memo leak. This information came from an unnamed source inside Trump’s legal team.

 

 

The memo details his conversations with the President concerning Michael Flynn and the FBI’s investigation of possible connections between the Trump campaign and Russia. Comey released these memos to the press after President Trump fired him.

 

 

The contents of the memo were given in Comey’s written testimony, delivered to the U.S. Senate during their investigation into the firing of James Comey.

 

 

Trump’s personal attorney, Marc Kasowitz, reportedly plans to submit a formal complaint to the Justice Department as well as the Senate Judiciary and Intelligence committees.

 

 

The Trump administration, the source claims, will seek to evoke executive privilege: a policy that allows the President to withhold information when in the public’s interest.

 

 

Comey told the Senate that he gave this memo to a Columbia law professor, asking the professor to share the contents to the press. This memo was, in turn, shared with the Wall Street Journal.

 

 

Kasowitz said in a prepared statement that Comey “unilaterally and surreptitiously made unauthorized disclosures to the press of privileged communications with the president.” He moreover claimed that Comey leaked classified information.

 

 

Comey maintains that no classified information was put into the memo, worrying that the presence of any such classified information could compromise the contents of the memo. He stated: “If I write it in such a way that I don’t include anything that would trigger classification, that would make it easier for us to discuss within the FBI and the government and to hold on to it in a way that makes it accessible to us.”

 

 

It seems likely, given the lack of clear public interest and the possibly incriminating nature of the memo, that Trump’s team will not be successful in claiming executive privilege.

 

 

 

Democrats Band Together and Sue President Trump

In an interesting turn of events, around 200 democratic members of the House of Representatives and U.S. Senate have banned together to sue President Trump. NPR reports that the lawsuit was filed on Wednesday of last week in a U.S. District Court in our nation’s capital.

 

Democratic members from both houses contend that President Trump is unconstitutionally profiting from the presidency. There are certainly a number of pending business deals and current asset holdings in foreign countries that could be perceived as a conflict of interest when it comes to balances politics, business, economics, and law.

 

The issue in contention for nearly 200 democratic politicians is the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution, which Senator Blumenthal and others have asserted Trump has repeatedly and aggressively violated during his few months in office.

 

Granted the Emoluments Clause was written over two hundred years ago, the language is somewhat dated. The clause, though, reads that presidents “can’t accept benefits…from any king, prince, or foreign state” without the expressed consent of Congress. Trump’s vast business holdings around the globe and his lack of interest in getting the consent of Congress have created serious conflicts of interest in the estimation of many democrats and democratic supporters.

 

One practical case of where this might be a conflict is Trump’s hotels. If a foreign dignitary spends the night at a Trump hotel, and provides Trump with additional revenue revenue because of that stay, could that stay be perceived as currying favor with the sitting president.

 

Another area of concern is Trump’s refusal to release his tax returns, which might provide a fuller picture of Trump’s holdings and potential conflicts of interest. In the current situation, though, democrats are calling for Trump to divest himself from his holdings or fully disclose his financial and economic ties with foreign countries. Trump claims to have pulled back from the day-to-day affairs of the Trump Organization, but will that be enough for the District Court judge?

 

Trump’s Friend Says the President Might Fire Mueller from Special Counsel

A close friend of President Donald Trump reports that the President is currently considering firing Robert Mueller from his role in investigating the ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

 

 

Christopher Ruddy, who has known Trump for years and currently serves as the head of Newsmax Media, visited the White House this Monday. On Tuesday, he indicated this possibility while speaking during the “News Hour” program on PBS. Ruddy said the recently elected President is “considering, perhaps, terminating the special counsel,” and that he thought the president was “weighing that option.”

 

 

The White House denied these allegations. The White House Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, stated that Ruddy “never spoke to the president regarding this issue.”

 

 

Mueller was appointed following the President’s firing of James Comey from his role as Director of the FBI. This move, according to Trump’s letter to Comey, was made because of Comey’s investigation into the administration’s possible ties to Russia. Comey recently spoke before the Senate regarding the matter.

 

 

When asked whether he thought the President had done anything illegal, Comey said that he could not answer this question during the portion of the hearing that was being broadcast to the public.

 

 

  1. Mueller was appointed by Rod Rosenstein, the current Deputy Attorney General, to sit at the head of the special counsel devoted to the Justice Department’s inquiry into any connections or collusions between Trump’s campaign and Russian intelligence operatives.

 

But can Trump legally fire the head of the special counsel? Justice Department regulations dictate that Trump would have to order the Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein to suspend these regulations. The regulations protect such special counsels from being fired without a justified reason.

 

 

Were Rosenstein to refuse the President’s request, Trump could feasibly threaten the Attorney General with termination. The New York Times drew a parallel to the so-called “Saturday Night Massacre” during the Watergate trial, where Nixon demanded that the Attorney General fire a special prosecutor, only to be handed the resignations of both Attorney Generals.

The U.S Supreme Court Exempts Church-Affiliated Organization from the ERISA Law

The U.S Supreme Court recently made a ruling that exempts hospitals that are affiliated with churches from abiding by the federal law that manages employee pensions. This overturned a court decision that would have made the hospitals to pay billions of dollars. The Supreme Court gave an 8-0 ruling on the matter. The church-affiliated organizations will now not have to comply with the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, which is a law that was passed in 1974 to force private employers to abide by the rules that protect participants of the pension plans.

 

The court’s ruling came as a victory to the hospital that had been sued for claiming that they had a religious exemption that was offered by ERISA. These organizations include California’s Dignity Health, Illinois’ Advocate Health Care Network, and New Jersey’s Saint Peter’s Healthcare System. According to the law interpretation of most federal agencies, church plans and institutions that are affiliated with churches are exempted from the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. The employees of the hospitals accused them of being highly profitable businesses that had posed as church-affiliated organizations to avoid ERISA’s requirements.

 

Dignity Health manages Catholic and non-Catholic Hospitals, Saint Peter’s Healthcare System is linked to the Roman Catholic Church, and the Advocate Health Care Network is an affiliate of the Evangelical Lutheran Church and the United Church of Christ. Justice Elena Kagan ruled that the exemption that had been offered by the law covers institutions that were founded by churches and those that are linked to them. Justice Sonia Sotomayor supported her but said that some of the church-affiliated organizations run for-profit subsidiaries that make them billions of dollars. Such branches need to comply with the ERISA rules. According to Sotomayor, the U.S Congress needs to revise the laws. Hundreds of church-related hospitals across the United States had claimed that they are exempted from the ERISA law since 1980 when it was amended by the Congress to exclude all religious entities. The organizations could have been penalized hundreds of millions of dollars if the plaintiffs had won.

 

The U.S Supreme Court Eliminates Gender Equality in the Citizenship Laws

The U.S Supreme Court recently abolished the gender discrimination that is in the U.S immigration law that tends to offer different treatment to parents when determining the citizenship of a child. The court referred to the law as “stunningly anachronistic.” The high court that was led by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave an 8-0 ruling in the case that the equal protection guarantee of the U.S Constitutions was violated the by the law that determines how individuals who are born overseas can be eligible for U.S Citizenship. The New York resident who filed the case, Luis Morales-Santana, may fail to benefit from the ruling. The individual was arrested for several offenses and was trying to avoid being deported to the Dominican Republic.

 

According to the law, an unmarried father who holds American citizenship was required to live in the U.S for at least five years before he can secure citizenship for his child who was born abroad to a mother who is a non-U.S Citizen. An amendment was made in 2012 and increase the period to 10 years. Unmarried mothers who are in the same situation need to live in the country for one year. The Supreme Court stated that the Congress should change the law and both men and women should meet the five years requirement.

 

Ginsburg, who is respected for her involvement in gender equality issues before being appointed as a jurist, stated that the duration of residence for the mothers and fathers who are not married and have accepted parental roles is incredibly anachronistic. She further argued that the U.S Constitution demands that the government should ensure that its male and female citizens are offered equal dignity. Morales-Santana was born abroad to a non-citizen mother while his father was a U.S citizen, but he did not meet the required years by 20 days. The years that had been set for the fathers were burdening, and various U.S courts stood with Morales-Santana on the issue.

 

Another Appeals Court Rules Against President Trumps’ Travel Ban

The efforts of President Donald Trump to bar the traveling of people from six Muslim countries to the United States suffered legal setbacks when another ruling by the federal appeals court indicated that it discriminated people based on their nationality. The court also ruled that it did not have any effect on national security. The 9th Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals made its judgment by referring to the federal immigration laws hence giving the Supreme Court several reasons to stick down President Trump’s law. Most courts in the U.S have ruled that Muslims are significantly discriminated by the ban.

 

The panel of the 9th Circuit gave a 78-page decision. Hawaii and Maryland also released their arguments to the Supreme Court, which may either decide to let the ban continue or listen to the petitions. The challengers responded to the Justice Department request to the justices to implement the ban immediately. The case indicated the negative impact of the travel ban to people from Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Sudan, Iran, and Syria. The legal papers cited the statements of President Trump during campaigns and his tweets that called for extreme vetting. California’s 9th Circuit Court avoided the argument of whether the ban does not abide by the U.S Constitution’s law that protects people against religious discrimination. The judges ruled that the Trump administration was discriminating individuals based on their nationality yet it was not improving national security.

 

The panel argued that the being a citizen of any of the six countries does not link an individual to any of the terrorist organizations that operate in their countries. The ban also fails to prove citizen as being active contributors to a conflict that could lead to national insecurity. Being a native of any of the six countries does not make one have a motive for committing terrorist activities. Attorney General Jeff Sessions has however criticized the decision. He said that President Trump understood that he had been elected as a leader of a nation that is constantly under terrorist threats.