News and Announcements

  • News outlet logo for legalnews.com
    Jessica Biondo becomes Wayne Law’s first Ms. JD fellowship recipient
    Wayne State University Law School student Jessica Biondo was recently named a 2020 Ms. JD fellow. She is the first Wayne Law student and the second student from Michigan to receive this honor. Created 10 years ago, the Ms. JD Fellowship is a project in partnership with the American Bar Association Commission on Women in the Profession to promote mentoring and professional development for future female attorneys. This early mentorship and career guidance assist young women leaders in becoming more active in the legal community. Biondo is in her third year at Wayne Law and is an admissions ambassador, senior note editor for The Journal of Law in Society, Mock Trial student coach and a member of the TYLA National Mock Trial team. She’s also co-president of the Italian American Student Law Association and previously served as president of the Health Law Society. Biondo also received the State Bar of Michigan Health Care Law Annual Scholarship.
  • News outlet logo for legalnews.com
    Wayne Law student doubles as a social worker/therapist
    During the Larry Nassar sex offender scandal at Michigan State University, Katelyn Maddock spent two years as a therapist at the MSU Center for Survivors. “Being at the epicenter of such a large-scale trauma was really eye-opening for me in terms of what it meant to create healing and justice for not only survivors, but the public at large,” says Maddock. Now a 2L student at Wayne State University Law School, Maddock’s goal is to bring a social-work lens into the field of law as she pursues a career in public interest. “I saw law school as a way for me to be an active participant in helping shape and change systems that oppress, traumatize, and create substantial harm for those who interact with it,” she says. “My classmates have been one of the best parts of being at Wayne Law. Being in law school has taught me to be more collaborative and I’ve been very fortunate to surround myself with classmates and friends that challenge me to work harder, be more open minded, and step outside of my comfort zone. Being able to talk through everything from Civil Procedure to Property has deepened my understanding of the law and has really helped me excel. Involved in Law Review and Moot Court, Maddock also serves as president of the Women's Law Caucus, and finds it fulfilling to help create an environment people can come to as a ‘home base’ within the law school.  
  • News outlet logo for wxyz.com
    Can jobs or schools require you or kids to get a COVID-19 vaccine? Here's what we know
    Most businesses are open and schools are coming back in session, but there are major concessions to the coronavirus. From kindergarten to college, schools are switching to virtual learning and businesses are operating at reduced capacity. There is a race to create a COVID-19 vaccine to beat back the virus, and now, we're looking at who can require you to get the future vaccine, and what rights you have to push back. There's a lot of hope a coronavirus vaccine can help us get back to normal life, but that only works if the public takes the vaccine. Public Health Law Expert Professor Lance Gable said confidence in vaccines is the key to public health. Gable said despite parent protest, the state can require kids to get a future coronavirus vaccine, just as other childhood shots. "State requirements of this sort, as long as they have scientific evidence supporting their necessity, often they're going to be upheld," he said. He added, "It's really important we get this right and it's really important we maintain trust." Parents can request a non-medical waiver. It will require a visit with a county health educator and during disease outbreaks, non-vaccinated kids can be excluded from school. What about your job? Federal guidance says employers can require a COVID-19 test to look for active infection but not for antibodies. A vaccine can be closer to antibody screening. “So it could violate the Americans with Disabilities Act and it might be a problem for employers to do that," Gable said.
  • News outlet logo for courthousenews.com
    Legal experts call on officials to shore up pandemic response
    The United States’ response to the pandemic is a story of failed leadership, missed chances and untold tragedy. How did the law worsen this disaster? How can it help the country recover? Fifty legal experts tackled these questions in a comprehensive report released Tuesday. Back in October, the world’s richest country won kudos from the world of academia. In a Global Health Security Index led by Johns Hopkins University, which looked at nations’ ability to prevent, detect and rapidly respond to epidemics, the U.S. ranked No. 1. out of 195 countries. The index’s authors apparently believed because the federal government had prepared for a widespread viral outbreak—even conducting an exercise in August 2019 called “Crimson Contagion,” simulating a novel respiratory virus spreading from China across the globe—the preparation would easily be put into practice. The simulation predicted shortages of basic medical supplies, or personal protective equipment, during a global influenza pandemic. Skip ahead five months. It’s February and China’s in lockdown struggling to contain an outbreak of Covid-19, the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus. Then politics got in the way of public health. With tens of millions of people losing their jobs and filing for unemployment, President Donald Trump started leaning on states to reopen their economies. “The quick removal of restrictions in many jurisdictions was prompted not by public health guidance, but rather by political pressure from President Trump and his supporters, protests organized by conservative groups, and a large number of lawsuits challenging stay-at-home orders and business closures,” wrote report contributor Lance Gable, a law professor Wayne State University in Detroit. Gable told Courthouse News he believes states, not Congress, should address the issue through legislation. “I do not think that a constitutional amendment granting immunity to state governments from legal challenges to their public health powers is feasible, necessary, or wise. I also do not think that this is an issue that even warrants congressional or other federal-level actions,” he wrote in an email. According to Gable, another tragedy in the U.S. response is federal and state governments did not use the time when most people were abiding by stay-at-home orders to ramp up testing and contact tracing. Experts say delays in test results have rendered contact tracing worthless as infected people can interact with dozens of others before it is known they have the virus.
  • Opinion: Detroit’s war vs. structural racism will need help
    John Mogk, professor of law, wrote an op-ed titled “Detroit’s war vs. structural racism will need help.” Mogk wrote: “In 1967, structural racism triggered a civil explosion, the Detroit riot, resulting in the death of 43 people and hundreds of millions in property damages. Rather than taking personal charge of addressing the issue then-Gov. George Romney and Detroit Mayor Jerome Cavanaugh turned the responsibility over to newly formed New Detroit, the nation’s first urban coalition, to identify what went wrong, what needed to change and how to make that change happen. A half-century later, structural racism is alive and well in Michigan. For any progress to be made, Michigan’s elected leadership must be directly involved. Structural racism is entrenched in our society. It fosters public policies, institutional practices and cultural representations that work to reinforce racial inequality in all aspects of African-American life. After Detroit’s disturbance, political leaders provided support to New Detroit, but they kept their distance and Detroit’s white neighborhoods and suburbs were largely uninvolved. These factors contributed significantly to little progress being made in combating structural racism in the decades since then…It is unlikely that progress will be made in Michigan in combating structural racism unless Governor Whitmer takes the lead in a sustained effort, along with other elected officials.”
  • News outlet logo for freep.com
    Detroiters’ Bill of Rights is a positive step forward | Opinion
    Peter Hammer, professor of law and Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School, wrote an opinion piece. “We are living in historic times that open up the possibility for historic change, but only if we chose to seize the moment. A new charter of freedom was revealed last week in front of the Spirit of Detroit. Dozens of community leaders joined Council President Pro Tempore Mary Sheffield and Councilwoman Raquel Castañeda-López to announce the Detroiters' Bill of Rights. These rights are grounded in notions of racial equity — the right to be free from discrimination, the right to water, safety, health, environmental justice, recreation, access and mobility, and basic needs and quality of life…Detroiters’ Bill of Rights is a revolutionary step towards a positive rights agenda. 
  • News outlet logo for crainsdetroit.com
    Commentary: Community benefits are more than just a checkbox
    Peter Hammer, a law professor and the director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School, and George Gaines of the Equitable Detroit Citywide CBA Coalition, co-wrote a commentary article for Crain’s Detroit Business. They called on corporations receiving public subsidies and engaging in negotiations for Community Benefit Agreements (CBAs) to commit to set of principles toward racial equity both as a process and and outcome. “During the past decade, corporations doing development in Detroit by our estimates have been awarded nearly $1.5 billion in tax abatements, mostly concentrated in the downtown business district. And yet, Detroit remains one of the nation's most impoverished cities. It is obvious that majority Black Detroit is not benefiting from these public investments.”
  • News outlet logo for wdet.org
    Barriers remain for disabled people as ADA reaches 30 year mark
    The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) changed the nation’s landscape. It requires things like curbs that can accommodate wheelchairs and so-called “handicapped” parking spaces that have now become commonplace. The ADA is even supposed to make internet sites more accessible to those with a disability, though the federal government’s enforcement of that provision has varied. But the head of Wayne State University’s Disability Law Clinic, David Moss, says the law still has not made good on its promise to create a surge in companies hiring people with disabilities. “I think there is concern among many employers that hiring people with disabilities will expose them to potential disability discrimination claims by those employees. They are concerned that accommodations may be costly,” he said. Moss notes the ADA has helped change attitudes towards those with a disability. He says people with disabilities were often routinely kept away from the rest of society before the landmark law took effect. “There are still a very sizable percentage of people with disabilities, even people under age 65 with disabilities, who are living in nursing homes and other institutional settings. But the number has come way, way down,” Moss said.
  • Robert A. Sedler is recognized by Continental Who's Who
    Robert A. Sedler is being recognized by Continental Who's Who as a Top Attorney for his remarkable contributions in the field of Education and acknowledgment of his dedication and commitment as a Professor of Law at Wayne State University. As a seasoned and trusted educator, Mr. Sedler is currently on phased retirement and will be fully retired at the end of the 2020-2021 academic years. He serves as a distinguished professor at Wayne State University Law School, where he has taught courses in Constitutional Law for nearly six decades. He also advises on matters related to constitutional law and civil rights law. Previously he engaged in constitutional litigation, particularly in public interest constitutional litigation. Throughout his valuable experience as a professor, he has had the opportunity to publish extensively, including a book on American constitutional law. He has also had the opportunity to do a great deal of public interest litigation, protecting civil rights and civil liberties, primarily as a volunteer lawyer for the ACLU, and providing lectures on American constitutional law in foreign countries. Prior to working at Wayne State, he was a professor of law at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. He also helped establish a law school in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from 1963 to 1966 on a Ford Foundation project.
  • News outlet logo for detroitnews.com
    Morouns could chart new path following death of patriarch
    The passing of billionaire Manuel "Matty" Moroun potentially could herald a new era for the prominent and controversial family that owns the Ambassador Bridge, a trucking company and swaths of property in Detroit. In recent years, his only son, Matthew Moroun, officially has taken the reins of the logistics empire. He's the third-generation leader with a business legacy to uphold as well as reinvent amid a changing and civically minded business environment in Detroit. "I think the son taking over the company is a fresh opportunity for the company to work more closely with the residents in the areas of his properties to find solutions that benefit both the residents and the company," said John Mogk, a Wayne State University law professor who specializes in urban issues. "Early steps suggest there may be an improving situation. It's too early to tell if that will hold true." The family, meanwhile, has objected to publicly funded plans to build the Gordie Howe International Bridge a few miles south of the iconic Ambassador Bridge. The Morouns argue there won't be enough traffic to support both border crossings. Despite their challenges and objections, the bridge is moving forward. "The rationale for the bridge is that it will help expand trade and economic activity in the region," Mogk said. "You can understand why there was opposition, because it will impact your bottom line. Nonetheless, it caused a considerable amount of energy and effort in order to hold that project. That was another initiative by the company that was not in the best public’s interest."
  • News outlet logo for downtownpublications.com
    Local police policies: the rules governing officers
    A force representative of the community, along with enlightened leadership, ranks high in the prescription for a successful police force promoted by professor Robert Sedler of Wayne State University Law School who has a long history studying law enforcement and the community it serves. “In 1974, only 17 percent of officers in the Detroit Police Department were Black, and only five percent of the captains and lieutenants were. When Coleman Young came in, he started affirmative action, hiring a Black officer for every White officer. The Detroit Police Officers Association challenged it in court, and I wrote the Friend of the Court brief,” Sedler said. “Eventually, the police department got it right, especially under chief Craig. With all of the recent protests, you're not seeing the looting and rioting in Detroit like in (some) other cities. “While Trump and others blame it on rogue cops, I think it starts at the top. When officers use excessive force, they seem to know they can get away with it, from leadership and from unions,” he said. “It's the leadership and the unions, and the policies they create and enforce. You need cameras, you don't use choke holds, and you don't use facial recognition. In my view it depends on the policies put into effect by the department and it needs support from the community. It took a long time, and a lot of litigation, but now you have a Detroit police force that has the support of the community.” Sedler said, “The slogan 'defund the police' is really not helpful. You're talking about reform and restructuring policing. You talk about the best way to deal with domestic violence incidents, for example, maybe you need police and social workers. You need to talk about restructuring and it's going to be city by city, community by community.”
  • News outlet logo for legalnews.com
    Law students honored by Clinical Legal Education Association
    Eight Wayne State University Law School students and recent graduates were awarded a 2020 Outstanding Clinical Student Team Award from the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA). Assistant Professor (Clinical) Kathryn M. Smolinski, director of Wayne Law’s Legal Advocacy for People with Cancer Clinic (LAPC), nominated the team for the award for their contributions to the clinic during the fall 2019 semester. LAPC is a medical-legal partnership between Wayne Law and Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Center that offers students training on real-life legal issues while providing an invaluable service to low-income cancer patients receiving treatment at the center. “This class worked so well together to provide excellent services to the cancer patients at Karmanos Cancer Center,” said Smolinski. “They exemplified what it means to be a clinical student: they demonstrated great client rapport, strong writing skills, terrific research and problem-solving, seminar participation, amazing teamwork, consummate professionalism, excellent time and case management and a strong desire to learn and to lead.”
  • News outlet logo for theconversation.com
    Supreme Court upholds American Indian treaty promises, orders Oklahoma to follow federal law
    Kirsten Carlson, associate professor of law and adjunct associate professor of political science, wrote an article for The Conversation about the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling ordering Oklahoma to follow federal law regarding promises made to American Indian nations. “To most Americans, it may seem obvious that a government should live up to its word. But the United States has regularly reneged on the promises that it made to American Indian nations in the nearly 400 treaties that it negotiated with them between 1778 and 1871. Many people feared that the Supreme Court would turn a blind eye to another treaty breach in this case, McGirt v. Oklahoma. Beyond Oklahoma, the decision’s effects will vary by tribe and state. States from Florida to Michigan have sought to curtail tribal sovereignty, and this decision clearly affirmed tribal sovereignty and treaty rights. It also emphasized the limited powers that states have over American Indian tribes under the U.S. Constitution. States may now think twice before ignoring treaty promises or challenging tribal jurisdiction. They may decide it’s better to negotiate than to fight in court.”
  • News outlet logo for freep.com
    Dan Gilbert guards Detroit headquarters in Quicken Loans IPO
    Dan Gilbert doesn't plan to give up control of the mammoth mortgage company that he launched 35 years ago — or apparently its iconic Detroit headquarters — on the road to taking the company public. Any effort to move the "corporate headquarters outside of Detroit, Michigan will require the approval of 75% of the combined voting power of our common stock," according to the S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is filed in anticipation of an initial public offering. The Detroit nugget is listed along with other restrictions in the deal that are designed to discourage any takeover of Rocket Companies, the parent of Rocket Mortgage and Quicken Loans. "Dan Gilbert wants Quicken to be in Detroit," said Peter Henning, a law professor at Wayne State University. "So he's not going to be willing to move it to Cleveland or anyplace else," said Henning, who said his daughter works at Quicken. "It's a Detroit-based company and he doesn't want to see it moved."
  • News outlet logo for legalnews.com
    Wayne Law students awarded prestigious 2020 workers’ right fellowship at UAW
    Two Wayne State University Law School students were awarded prestigious 2020 Peggy Browning Summer Fellowships. Rising third-year students Michele Lucas-Narcisse and Samantha Perry are both fellows at United Auto Workers International Union Legal Department in Detroit. They were awarded the fellowships for their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer and personal experiences.
  • News outlet logo for candgnews.com
    Zoning board nomination draws diversity discussion
    The nomination of a Zoning Board of Appeals applicant at a recent Sterling Heights City Council meeting became a microcosm for national conversations on race, namely the philosophies and methods institutions use to achieve equality and diversity.  In an email, Wayne State University Law School professor Robert Sedler said Elliott-Larsen prohibits “a policy of discrimination, such as a quota limiting the number of minorities, whites, women or men who can serve on the commission.” Sedler said it doesn’t ban a council member from taking race into account in order to increase a commission’s diversity, which he said is the case here. “Members of a city council are free to vote on appointments for any reason that they choose,” he said. Sedler constitutionally compared the matter to how the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that public universities may consider race as a factor to foster educational diversity. “For the same reason, I would submit that it is constitutionally permissible for a city council to take race or gender as one of the factors in appointment to a governmental agency,” he said. “The city has a compelling interest in ensuring that governmental agencies are reflective of the city's population.” Peter Hammer, a law professor and the director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School, offered some general opinions. “Current laws dealing with affirmative action and non-discrimination are poorly equipped to deal with the racial equity needs confronting us today and move this country forward,” he said. Hammer said the way nondiscrimination laws and affirmative action provisions are practiced today can “often create greater racial inequality by preventing progress in increasing racial diversity.”
  • News outlet logo for freep.com
    Stopping another Edenville requires more than a panel of experts | Opinion
    Jim Townsend, director of the Levin Center at Wayne State’s Law School, and Kristin Taylor, associate professor of political science wrote an op-ed about the failure of the Edenville and Sanford dams in Michigan. “In response to public pressure, the Whitmer Administration last week appointed a panel of technical experts tasked with getting to the bottom of how the Edenville and Sanford dams in mid-Michigan failed and how this kind of catastrophe can be prevented in the future. Relying solely on technical experts, as the governor’s panel appears to do, should generate valuable technical findings and warnings about the dangers we face. But confronting and solving the problems that led to this disaster requires a clear-eyed look at the various government entities that failed to act and the inadequacy of the public engagement process led by the lawmakers elected to do that job. A panel of independent experts is surely preferable to the internal investigation first called for by the Governor in her May 27 executive order. Although the appointees have decades of experience designing dams and analyzing why they fail, a panel comprised only of scientific experts is unlikely to shed light on the intergovernmental failures that allowed private dam owners to skate by for 25 years after federal regulators first identified significant flaws in the dams’ designs.”
  • News outlet logo for thejewishnews.com
    Jewish legal experts weigh in on DACA decision
    A June 20 Supreme Court decision invalidates the Trump administration’s attempt to rescind DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals). For now, these immigrants — the “dreamers” — have retained the protections of DACA. Five years later, on Sept. 5, 2017, Elaine Duke, acting secretary of Homeland Security in the Trump administration, issued a memorandum that “terminated the program.” The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia found that Duke provided insufficient explanation for terminating the program. Duke’s successor as secretary of Homeland Security, Kirstjen M. Nielsen, then provided additional reasoning for rescinding DACA. On June 20, 2020, Chief Justice John Roberts, writing for the Court, ruled that the efforts to end DACA were still “arbitrary and capricious,” and so DACA remains in force. Tim Moran, senior lecturer at the Irvin D. Reid Honors College of Wayne State University, cautions that “when the Supreme Court issues an opinion, it’s not because they ‘side with’ any particular issue. They examine the law and decide whether the law has been followed correctly.” The majority of the court decided the case as a narrow question of the Administrative Procedures Act. The executive cannot simply overturn an administrative rule without providing a sufficient rationale. Justice Roberts, joined by the liberal justices, found that Duke’s memorandum offered an “arbitrary and capricious” rationale, and that Nielsen’s later additions could not remedy that original lack. The decision, however, rests on a procedural question. Robert Sedler, professor of constitutional law at Wayne State University Law School, notes that Chief Justice Roberts here follows “the operative principle: Decide cases on the narrowest possible ground.”
  • Credit cards for students with bad credit
    Stephen Calkins, professor of law, participates in a Q&A about credit cards for students who have bad credit. What should students with bad credit look for in a credit card, and how should they use it? “The last thing someone with a bad credit score needs is a new credit card. The first goal is to pay every bill on time, and an additional card just makes doing that harder. Opening new credit also risks further harming a credit score. As for existing cards, always make at least the minimum payment on time, no matter what. If the student has extra money, talk to someone smart about credit. It is good to pay down the card charging the highest interest; it is good to keep balances well below your credit limit; it is good really to pay off a card so eventually using it will not cost the student any interest at all. But balancing those three goals is sometimes tricky!”
  • News outlet logo for bridgemi.com
    Opinion | Dual pandemics: police brutality and coronavirus racial disparities
    Professor Peter Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center at Wayne Law, along with fellow DJK Center staff members Peter Blackmer, Rhiannon Chester and Martina Guzmán, wrote an opinion piece on the interconnections of coronavirus and police brutality in the Black community. “Now, the coronavirus is ravaging African-American communities at the same time protests against police brutality fill the streets.  The enemy is the same, racism — express and structural.  We need to acknowledge these interconnections as we fight for a better future.  We are in a fight for our lives. And we all have roles to play. The murder of George Floyd triggered righteous anger that has flowed into mass protests in streets across the nation.  The tragic racial disparities in deaths from the coronavirus crisis has triggered overwhelming grief and mourning, but not protests in the streets.”
  • News outlet logo for detroitnews.com
    Federal judge asks Michigan Supreme Court to clarify Whitmer's emergency powers
    A federal judge asked the Michigan Supreme Court Thursday to clarify whether Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has the authority to continue issuing or renewing executive orders under either of the two state laws that govern her emergency powers. The request came on the same day that Whitmer extended Michigan's state of emergency through July 16. A federal judge may certify a question to the high court when there is a legal issue or term that arises in federal litigation but depends on state law for its meaning, said Justin R. Long, an associate professor at Wayne State University Law School. If Michigan's high court gives an answer, the federal judge can use it to decide his or her case, but it also becomes solidified as state law, Long said. The process of certification is more likely to occur "when the federal judges feels it’s a question especially important to the state, whether that’s a question of the powers of different branches in the state or a particularly controversial question," he said. Certification is uncommon, but not extraordinary, Long said, adding that it likely happens nationwide about "a dozen times a year." Typically, Long said, "state high courts are much more likely to grant a federal judge’s request to decide something like this than they are to accept an appeal from a lower court."
  • News outlet logo for fox2detroit.com
    Detroit activists plan Juneteenth march over disparities in sentencing, lack of jury diversity
    Detroit activists are planning a Juneteenth march focusing on justice system reform raising awareness about the lack of representation on the supreme court, racial disparities in sentencing and the lack of diversity in juries in Wayne County. "If you think about injustice in the criminal justice system it goes from root to branch," said Wayne State University Law Professor Peter Hammer. "It is not just police brutality. It is how we define what is criminal, what is not criminal, it is who is sitting in the jury and who is not." Hammer is director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. He says judges Keith and George Crockett, Jr. helped bend the proverbial moral arc towards justice, benefitting not just African-Americans but everyone. "And they would tell you, they would not be the same judges they were if they were not Black men," Hammer said. "And they would not have had the impact that they did, because they took their life experience. They survived discrimination and knew the machinery and the physics of discrimination in this country. And they applied that knowledge on the bench. "If you have a bench full of European-Americans that have all these blinders on, even if they have the best intention and the sincerest beliefs, they are going to get it wrong.”
  • News outlet logo for bridgemi.com
    Despite legal battle, Michigan tribe remains hopeful for recognition
    Of the 574 federally-recognized and 63 state-recognized tribal nations in the United States, 12 Michigan tribes are federally-recognized and four state-recognized. State-recognized tribes are acknowledged to have cultural and ancestral history in the state, but they must receive federal recognition to secure funding and other benefits. When a tribe is federally recognized, it is allowed to establish a formal reservation. The tribe and its members are eligible for “certain powers, privileges, and immunities,” including federal assistance such as coronavirus relief funding, authority to exercise jurisdiction in their territory, sovereign immunity and the ability to pursue casino gaming  development and provide tribal government services to citizens. Those opposing federal recognition usually raise concerns over the authenticity of tribal claims and impact on surrounding, non-tribal communities. “When the tribe takes land into trust, the land is removed from local tax rolls and is no longer regulated by the locality,” said Kirsten Carlson, associate professor of law at Wayne State University and a leading scholar on federal Indian law and legislation. “The main arguments against recognition either question the identity of the tribe or express concerns over the tribe taking revenue and power away from the local government,” Carlson said.
  • The deadliest corporate crime in U.S. history
    Peter Henning, a professor at Wayne State University Law School, discusses PG&E Corp. pleading guilty to involuntary manslaughter, admitting in a California courtroom that the bankrupt utility killed 84 people after its equipment ignited the deadliest wildfire in state history. June Grasso hosts the discussion.
  • News outlet logo for detroitnews.com
    Michigan Supreme Court upholds throwing out Wixom murder suspect's statements
    The Michigan Supreme Court declined Friday in a close vote to hear an appeal from prosecutors whose key testimony was thrown out because police neglected to specifically inform the suspect of her right to the presence of an attorney during questioning. The seven justices disagreed about whether the high court should consider arguments that police had properly respected a suspect's Miranda rights by giving her a general advisory about having the "right to a lawyer" during questioning. The decision "really has no significance" since the Supreme Court can decline to hear a case for a variety of reasons without really opining on the arguments, said Justin Long, associate professor at Wayne State University Law School. "The police will have to follow the Court of Appeals decision if they want evidence to stick," Long said. "That is precedential and binding on all courts until another case comes up and the Supreme Court says the Court of Appeals was wrong.”