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    Supreme Court affirms tribal police authority over non-Indians
    Kirsten Carlson, associate professor of law and adjunct associate professor of political science, wrote an article for The Conversation on police authority over non-Indians. “The Supreme Court unanimously affirmed the sovereign power of American Indian tribes on June 1, 2021, ruling that tribal police officers have the power to temporarily detain and search non-Indians on public rights-of-way through American Indian lands. In most communities in the United States, the local government has the authority to investigate and prosecute both misdemeanor and felony crimes. And local police can detain and search individuals suspected of state and federal crimes, at least until handing them off to the appropriate authorities. Tribal governments – the local governments in Indian country – have the power to prosecute tribal citizens on tribal lands. When it comes to non-Indians, though, the situation is different. In 1978, the Supreme Court ruled that tribal governments could not prosecute non-Indians for any crimes in Indian country. Tribal governments have to rely on state and federal governments to prosecute non-Indians – which doesn’t happen often. Effectively, non-Indians have been able to commit crimes in Indian country with impunity.
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    Michigan Supreme Court suspends decertification of Proposal P, allowing Detroit Charter question on August ballot
    The Michigan Supreme Court is ordering the Court of Appeals to rush a hearing on the validity of Detroit’s Proposal P, allowing the charter ballot question to be printed for the August primary by suspending a decision by the Wayne County Circuit Court. The Detroit Charter Revision Commission filed dual emergency appeals last week, seeking to reverse Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny’s decision to decertify the charter revision question. The Court of Appeals denied the group’s stay last week, but the state Supreme Court’s order will supersede that decision, requiring the appellate courts to hear the case. The Supreme Court is denying the Charter Revision Commission’s attempt to bypass the lower courts. A group of legal scholars from Wayne State University is writing in support of putting the charter question forward to voters. The group includes John Mogk, chair of the Levin Center at Wayne Law faculty committee, and Peter Hammer, director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights. Along with professors Khaled Beydoun and Justin Long, the group argues that the Michigan Constitution positions statutes “in favor of the voters” and the previous judgments on the charter lawsuit “stifles the voices of the Detroit electorate as well as the constitutionally protected political process.” “The people of Detroit have faced many attempts — some successful, like the state takeovers of the city finances and city schools — to inhibit their democratic control of those who govern them,” the group wrote in an amicus brief filed with the Court of Appeals. “In this case, the Governor’s failure to approve the proposed charter should be treated as the political act it clearly was intended to be, not as a democracy-blocking veto. The voters of Detroit are constitutionally and statutorily the only proper authority to decide whether to accept the proposed charter or reject it.”
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    Wayne State University launches “holistic defense” pilot for criminal defendants
    Wayne State University will implement a holistic defense partnership program in fall 2021. The program will pair social work and law students to assist clients in criminal defense offices in Detroit. The students will tackle systemic issues in the criminal justice system under the supervision of licensed attorneys and social workers. Administrators at the university believe that the holistic approach will spur criminal justice reforms and inspire change in their community. Dan Ellman is an externship professor at the Wayne State University Law School. “When people become enmeshed in the criminal justice system, they face a lot of consequences,” Ellman says. For some individuals, he explains, these consequences can include the deprivation of employment, parental rights and housing. Sheryl Kubiak is the dean of the Wayne State University School of Social Work. Kubiak says interdisciplinary partnerships are often fraught with misunderstandings about objectives. “In these offices, we hope to produce lawyers and social workers who are used to working together,” Kubiak says. Though this initiative may prove to be costly, Kubiak says it is a necessary investment to improve the livelihood of citizens. She explains, ”When you look at the unintended consequences of an individual who goes further and further into the criminal legal system, you have to think about what happened to their children, what about their lost revenue, what about the issues of family disruption, and what are those costs to our society?” 
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    Wayne State to pilot holistic defense partnership for law and social work students
    Wayne State University Law School and School of Social Work are launching a holistic defense partnership for J.D. and M.S.W. students beginning in fall 2021, with the goal of addressing clients’ legal and social support needs in tandem. Holistic defense – also referred to as community orientated or comprehensive defense – is a term used to describe an innovative approach that employs an interdisciplinary team to consider both the individual and community needs when working with a person charged with a criminal offense. Unintended or collateral consequences of arrest and conviction can include loss of housing, removal of children, and even deportation. The holistic defense approach brings lawyers and social workers together to achieve positive legal and social outcomes for criminal defendants. “Holistic defense is an underutilized opportunity to effect real change in the lives of people navigating the criminal justice system,” said Wayne Law Dean and Professor Richard A. Bierschbach. “Lawyers and social workers have the same goal – to achieve the best possible outcome for their client. By training lawyers and social workers together, we open the door for future professional collaboration that can make all the difference.” In fall 2020, Social Work students embarked on the initial holistic defense pilot year, completing an immersive field placement experience and Social Work courses focused on the intersection of the criminal legal system and the behavioral health needs of their clients. Five students who recently completed the initial requirements in May 2021 worked with lawyers and fellow allied health professional teams to assess client needs, provide resources and information, and serve as an advocate for their client as they navigate complicated social systems. “The holistic defense model encompasses much of what we do each day as social workers – working in tandem with our clients, colleagues and community partners to provide comprehensive care and empower change in our community. What is unique about this approach is the integration into the criminal legal system, which has resulted in shorter client sentences, a reduction in pre-trial detention and ultimately saved taxpayer dollars,” said Social Work Dean and Professor Sheryl Kubiak.
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    Michigan businesses must decide to keep or drop their mask mandate
    As more businesses announce new policies on vaccinations and masks, business owners have to decide whether to keep a mandate in place and how to enforce it. For some, a relaxation on mask recommendations is, as Bay City commissioner Kerice Basmadjiam says, “a light at the end of the tunnel.” But Lance Gable, a law professor at Wayne State University, says it could be problematic. “If everyone just stops wearing masks and just stops taking precautions, including people who are unvaccinated, that’s going to result in a lot more spread of the disease,” Gable said. The problem is the unknown. “A lot of people now are going to be going around without masks and you’re not going to be able to tell who’s been vaccinated and who hasn’t been,” Gable said. But are separate businesses and entities allowed to require proof of vaccination? “They certainly could request that information, but if a person refuses, there’s nothing the business can necessarily do to force them. You can’t force someone to divulge their private medical information,” Gable said. “It’s not only going to be confusing, but I think it’s going to be unsettling for a lot of people,” Gable said.
  • Is the ‘DEFCON 3 culture war’ over religious freedom bills coming to an end?
    Six years ago, Indiana lawmakers’ efforts to pass a new religious freedom law spawned protests, travel bans and boycott threats from national athletic organizations, including the NCAA, NFL and NBA. This year, when Montana and South Dakota passed similar legislation, the backlash was so muted by comparison that even some religious freedom experts didn’t hear about the bills until the Deseret News sent an interview request. The laws are called religious freedom restoration acts, or RFRAs. Although they come in different forms, all varieties seek to prevent the government from interfering with religious activity except in cases where there’s no other way to achieve important public policy goals. Research done in 2016 by Christopher Lund, law professor at Wayne State University, showed that RFRAs were rarely cited in legal cases and even more rarely used to sidestep LGBTQ anti-discrimination rules. Then, as in the past, religious freedom laws primarily benefitted people of faith who lacked the clout to force legislators to respond to their needs, he wrote, noting cases in which a Muslim prisoner won the right to avoid cross-gender pat-downs and Orthodox Jews successfully challenged no-beard policies enforced by police and fire departments. “Whatever else can be said of them, (the federal) RFRA and state RFRAs have been valuable for religious minorities, who often have no other recourse when the law conflicts with their most basic religious obligations,” Lund said.
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    Michigan's new mask rules for fully vaccinated people: What you need to know
    Fully vaccinated Americans can now safely shed their masks and skip social distancing, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said this week, sparking a flurry of questions about how the new guidelines will be implemented at businesses, schools, and other places where fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people mingle. How will people know who's been vaccinated and who hasn't? For the most part, you won't. That could make the weeks ahead pretty messy, said Lance Gable, an associate professor at the Wayne State University Law School. "It's going to create a real challenge for a lot of people because you don't know that the person who comes into your business or the person you see on the street ... whether they've been vaccinated or not," Gable said. For families with kids who are not yet eligible for vaccines, for people who have compromised immune systems, it's a tricky time to be out in the world. "They're not going to know if the person walking next to them or the person who is in the grocery line with them is not wearing a mask because they're vaccinated and are safe or because they're refusing to wear a mask and are not vaccinated and therefore pose a risk," he said. "It creates a lot of complexity, and ... I think it's going to raise some significant problems." Can businesses still enforce mask wearing? "Private businesses can still decide that they want to keep the mask requirements in place; they're still permitted to do that" even for fully vaccinated people, Gable said. "It's going to be really difficult for them to tell who is not wearing their masks because their fully vaccinated and who is not wearing their masks because they are just opposed to wearing a mask and, maybe, still posing a risk of spreading the disease to other people."
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    Unchartered territory: Legal strife over Detroit's charter revisions seems certain to end up in court
    Michigan's top lawyer says the Detroit Charter Revision Commission can bring the amended city-governing document to the voters even though the governor didn't approve it. But Detroit's top lawyer? He says no. This disagreement could have long and expensive legal ramifications, as the commission elected to edit the document that's essentially Detroit's constitution must put its changes on the Aug. 3 ballot, or dissolve and leave the charter as is. The revisions would have wide-spanning impacts on businesses and residents. If the city did sue ahead of the vote, it could also delay the process to the point that the charter revisions are no longer eligible for the ballot, Wayne State University Law School professor John Mogk said. The commission dissolves Aug. 6.
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    When It comes to big tech, antitrust is a distraction. Our focus should be workers: Opinion
    The age of impunity for huge tech companies like Amazon, Google, and Facebook may be coming to a close. There have been few checks on the limitless power they wield over our lives and over the market thus far, but in recent weeks, Senator Josh Hawley introduced two bills geared at addressing antitrust concerns when it comes to Big Tech. And President Biden's pick for commissioner of the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, is a noted advocate of using antitrust against Big Tech companies. Tech companies in particular have gained exponential power and capital. But the criticism around them has been frustratingly narrow, focused on breaking up companies like Facebook and Google, instead of on enforcing just labor laws. What this means is that instead of insisting on the wellbeing of workers, those pushing for reform in the Big Tech industry seem to care only about the wellbeing of the market. Antitrust laws were not meant to work this way. When they were first developed in the late nineteenth century, they were intended to challenge the consolidation of control over production, which had coalesced into the coffers of those at the very top. As assistant professor of law at Wayne State University Sanjukta Paul has shown, what ultimately became the Sherman Act in 1890 was routinely perverted throughout the twentieth century, when it was regularly used to punish collective action by workers. This gross reinterpretation, which treated organized workers as a force to be reined in while allowing firms to carry on undisturbed, developed alongside a rising neoliberal consensus among lawyers, policymakers, politicians, and economists around the almighty ideal of a competitive market.
  • Wayne State starts master’s program for non-lawyers
    Wayne State University Law School has launched a Master of Studies in Law program with a concentration in human resources. The inaugural cohort of 20 students is 86% female and 67% minority, with individuals ranging between 22 and 65 years old. The cohort consists of those working in human resources or who have ambitions of joining the field, hailing from such industries as automotive, health care, higher education, government, nonprofit and retail. The program is 100% online and offered only to non-lawyers, with start dates in January and August. Wayne Law is currently accepting applications for fall 2021. Courses are tailored to address employers’ growing desire for human resources professionals to be versed in legal terminology and legal principles, especially as the world adapts and recovers from the COVID-19 crisis. Skills gained in the program are immediately applicable and provide an edge in the job market to individuals entering the profession.
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    Dan Gilbert committed $500M to Detroit neighborhoods. Here's the immediate impact
    As billionaire Dan Gilbert pumped billions into downtown buildings and helped spur a revival in one of America's poorest major cities, Detroiters kept asking: "What about the neighborhoods?" The mortgage mogul, coping with the after-effects of a stroke, and his wife, Jennifer, delivered a $500 million answer Thursday. Help is on the way, first with a $15 million fund to help pay overdue property taxes. Experts hailed the 10-year commitment by the Gilbert Family and Rocket Community foundations as an "unprecedented" corporate pledge to the neighborhoods. But questions remain about how the vast majority of dollars would be deployed, where the capital would be spent and how it would improve conditions in the city's neighborhoods  — for now. How effective Gilbert’s plan could be will be determined by many uncertain details, said Peter Hammer, a law professor and director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University. “It’s good that people are generous, but what is the business plan for these funds?" he said. "Who are the primary beneficiaries? How is it going to impact long-term historic residents? Whether or not this produces lasting benefits is yet to be determined. It really depends on how he plans on spending his money.” There are 11,000 residents currently in the tax assistance program, according to the city. It estimates up to 20,000 might have some delinquency but haven't yet applied for the program. High tax rates contribute to foreclosures in the city, said John Mogk, a Wayne State University law professor focused on urban issues. In 2019, the average residential property tax millage rate for Michigan was 42 mills. Detroit’s residential property tax rate for 2019 was 67.6 mills. "The value of property is relatively low when compared to other cities," Mogk said. "In order to raise sufficient support for municipal services, the tax rate has to be set reasonably high."  
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    'Reprehensible': Detroit Public Library outraged over amount of millage money going to city
    Leaders of the Detroit Public Library say too much of their voter-approved millage is being diverted to the city's Downtown Development Authority, rising above a 5% cap laid out in the ballot question voters approved when they renewed the library's millage in 2014. Library commissioners and staff, during a virtual meeting Tuesday, said the capture was 12% of the millage's 2020 revenue and is estimated to be 11% in 2024 and 2025, amounts that will eat into the library's operating budget at a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has already temporarily shuttered most of its branches. John Mogk, a professor at Wayne State University's Law School whose research has focused on urban law and economic development policies, said the rationale behind tax increment financing is that captured revenue from property values are put back into the district and can stimulate further development of the area. But, Mogk said, local governments may ask whether a tax capture is necessary. "From the side of the view of the local governments it is, 'well, we know the revenue being captured could productively be used for us in carrying out our public purpose and when it's not available, we're severely hampered in performing our work,'" Mogk said. 
  • How franchising paved the way for the gig economy
    While changes in antitrust enforcement have made it easier for large companies to dictate prices and exert greater control over supposedly independent businesses, they have also become a tool to prevent workers from organizing or forming their own collectives. The reorientation of antitrust enforcement has also helped prevent gig workers from organizing and pushing for higher wages. In 2015, the Seattle City Council passed a measure extending collective bargaining rights to Lyft and Uber drivers. Right after its passage, Lyft, Uber and the city's chamber of commerce sued, claiming the measure violated federal antitrust law — on the grounds that workers would potentially be able to spur price hikes. After the federal government weighed in, supporting the suit, the council pulled the collective bargaining provision. Reforming antitrust would require regulators to be honest that “economic efficiency” is not some neutral, objective metric, but an ideological construct, argues Sanjukta Paul, a Wayne State law professor who wrote a study that touched on how gig companies have exerted control over "independent contractors" without using the franchise model. “When you’re telling someone else what to do and dominating them economically and extracting as much as you can from them, effort-wise, whether it’s a worker or small firm, that is ‘efficiency,' ” she says. Paul envisions an alternative metric based on social good. “If we can be more systematic and honest about what values we want to promote,” she says, “then we might say it is actually efficient and pro-social to have truck drivers and taxi cab drivers make a living wage so that they can invest in their communities and then invest in green technology for their trucks and cars.”
  • Antitrust Law: What is it and why does Congress want to change it?
    U.S. antitrust laws date back more than 130 years and affect every part of the economy. Democrats and Republicans are now considering the most significant changes in decades. Even if Congress acts on only a couple of middle-of-the-road proposals, it could mark the biggest substantive changes in decades, as courts have been reading current antitrust laws more narrowly. Very large companies could have trouble getting deals approved. Tech giants could have to divest themselves of certain business lines. If lawmakers, for example, make slight changes to reinforce broad government authority to successfully challenge mergers that threaten consumers, “that would signal to the courts that merger enforcement is important and that doubts should not always be resolved in favor of defendants,” said Wayne State University law professor Stephen Calkins.
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    Former chief justice shows ‘ardent desire’ to do good at WSU
    Marilyn Kelly, Board of Governors chair, is profiled in a story by Detroit Legal News Editor-in-Chief Tom Kirvan. “When Marilyn Kelly retired from the state Supreme Court nine years ago, most political observers figured it would be but a brief respite from the world of public service. For that, we should all be thankful, as it was only two years before Kelly ran for elective office again, winning a seat in the November 2014 election on the Board of Governors at Wayne State University, where she earned her law degree with honors. Kelly’s return to the campaign trail was rooted in her “deep commitment to Wayne State and an ardent desire to help it accomplish its mission to provide an excellent education for its students and better serve the community,” she wrote in announcing her candidacy. Last month, Kelly was unanimously chosen to serve as chair of the Wayne State Board of Governors, hoping to usher in a new era of cooperation and collegiality, much like she did when she served as chief justice of Michigan’s top court. “The start of 2021 is the perfect time to reflect on the past and frame intentions for the future,” Kelly said after she was chosen chair. “To that end, I’ve consulted in recent weeks with every member of the Board of Governors. Each of us has pledged to renew our efforts to work together in the best interests of this great university. Her ties, of course, to her legal alma mater are strong. She is a past recipient of the University’s Outstanding Alumni Award, and received an honorary doctorate from WSU, where she also has been named its Distinguished Jurist in Residence. She has served as co-chair of the law school’s capital campaign and also established an endowed scholarship for law school students “who are dedicated to public service.”
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    Kroger, Target, Trader Joe's among companies offering COVID-19 vaccine incentives
    Several companies have now made public their efforts to get workers vaccinated, including offering one-time bonuses and other financial incentives for employees who opt to get their shot. “Companies do have a lot of leeway in setting their own policies as to whether or not employees are going to have to receive the vaccine, but how the companies go about doing it can matter from a legal perspective," said Lance Gable, an associate professor at Wayne State Law School. It's a scenario not totally unfamiliar, Gable noted, as certain wellness incentives have been challenged in the past on the basis of discrimination. But the unique rollout of the COVID vaccine poses some never-before-seen problems too, he said. “There are separate issues about whether that is different if the vaccine has only been approved under Emergency Use Authorization. A mandatory vaccination requirement for a COVID vaccine could be permissible under federal law but only if employers put in place potential exceptions and accommodations," said Gable, citing EEOC guidance. In the EEOC's most recent guidance on wellness incentives, Gable said, it notes that any gifts or incentives companies offer should be modest, like a small gift card, lunch, or the cost of a ride, for example. Gable believes additional guidance will likely come out as the vaccine rollout continues.
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    Spotlight on the News: U/M & WSU legal experts Richard Primus and Jonathan Weinberg preview Trump impeachment trial
    Spotlight on the News interviewed two Michigan legal experts about the second Donald J. Trump presidential impeachment trial. Guests included Professor Richard Primus of the University of Michigan Law School and Professor Jonathan Weinberg of Wayne State University Law School. Primus and Weinberg looked at the important constitutional issues and politics facing the U.S. Senate jurors who will judge this historic trial.
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    Impeaching a former president – 4 essential reads
    As the U.S. Senate takes up the second impeachment trial of former President Donald Trump, there are a lot of questions about the process and legitimacy of trying someone who is no longer in office, including what the point is and how impeachment works. The House has passed an article of impeachment, charging him with “incitement of insurrection” in connection with the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, and now the process turns to the Senate. The Conversation has published several articles from scholars explaining aspects of the situation, as well as describing more generally what the purpose of impeachment was for the founders when they wrote the Constitution. This is a selection of excerpts from those articles. What happens if Trump is convicted? Though Trump can no longer be removed from office, he may still face consequences. Kirsten Carlson, a law professor at Wayne State University, explains that there is an additional step: “The Senate also has the power to disqualify a public official from holding public office in the future. If the person is convicted …, only then can senators vote on whether to permanently disqualify that person from ever again holding federal office. … A simple majority vote is all that’s required then.”
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    Wayne State University’s Board of Governors recognizes National Gun Violence Survivors Week
    The Wayne State University Board of Governors voted unanimously over the weekend to declare the first week of February as National Gun Violence Survivors Week. The action was taken following a request at the Jan. 29 meeting by Megan Dombrowski, president of the WSU Students Demand Action of Gun Sense in America group. The board will ratify its vote and consider if the designation will be recurring at its March 12 meeting. WSU first commemorated National Gun Violence Survivors Week last year, to honor and remember all victims and survivors of gun violence. National Gun Violence Survivors Week is also recognized by the State of Michigan, following a proclamation by Governor Gretchen Whitmer. “Gun violence is an all-too-common occurrence here in Detroit and in our nation,” said Marilyn Kelly, chair of the WSU Board of Governors. “The board respects our students’ initiative in raising awareness of this issue and in honoring those lives lost to gun violence. We are proud to stand with our students.”
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    Former prosecutor and journalist weigh in on the significance of Flint water crisis charges
    Noah Hall, a professor of law at Wayne State University, served as special assistant attorney general for the initial investigation of state officials regarding the water crisis. He said he felt the investigation he was part of had made promising progress in court, so when Nessel’s team announced they would shut down existing cases and start anew, he was frustrated and skeptical. But now, he says, he knows he was wrong. “It looks today like my skepticism was not justified and Attorney General Nessel came through on what she promised, which was, when she shut down our investigation and terminated us — myself included — she really was building back a better investigation that was going to do more work and go even further with developing charges. And it looks like that’s exactly what’s happened over the past two years,” Hall said. Snyder faces two misdemeanor charges of willful neglect of duty, for which he has pleaded not guilty. But other former officials face more serious charges, including former Michigan Department of Health and Human Services director Nick Lyon and the state’s former Chief Medical Officer Dr. Eden Wells, who have both been charged with nine felony counts of involuntary manslaughter. Hall says these new charges likely draw on decisions the Snyder Administration made back in 2012 and 2013, which set in motion the changes in Flint’s water supply that led to use of the Flint River with a lack of corrosion control. Some critics of the recent charges argue that government leaders and public servants, due to the nature of their jobs, should be permitted some benefit of the doubt, as they may have been using their best judgment to make decisions with the information that was available to them at the time. But Hall says that’s not what he thinks happened in the Flint water crisis, based on his knowledge from the initial investigation. “This was not a simple case of government officials doing the best they could and making a mistake. Quite the opposite,” he said. “These were government officials who intended to advance an agenda, and in advancing that agenda, threatened and ultimately harmed human life.”
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    Law professor: First Amendment doesn’t apply to Trump Twitter ban
    Twitter and Facebook suspended the social media accounts of President Donald Trump last week over concerns his messages could incite further violence like the siege on the U.S. Capitol. The president and his allies quickly accused the platforms of silencing free speech. A law expert said the First Amendment doesn’t protect Trump. "In terms of whether they have the power to tell President Trump, ‘sorry we think you've broken our rules, you're booted off.’ They absolutely have the power to do that," said Jonathan Weinberg, professor and associate dean of research at Wayne State University Law School. He said Twitter is well within its legal right to ban Trump from its platform. The same goes for Amazon and others who essentially shut down Parler. "It gets to choose who it does business with and who it doesn't," Weinberg said. He said these actions do not violate anyone's First Amendment rights. "What the law says about your First Amendment rights run against governments,” he said. “They don't run against private companies." Weinberg said in a twist of irony, it was Trump and Republicans who got rid of net neutrality. Weinberg said net neutrality was designed to give people more rights to prevent being silenced by powerful media companies. "The moment President Trump got into office, the Republicans swept that all away,” he said. “They said, 'that's crazy. That's awful. That's communism. Government shouldn't be telling private companies what to do.'"
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    A brief history of the term ‘president-elect’ in the United States
    Mark Satta, assistant professor of philosophy, wrote an article for The Conversation offering perspective on the term president-elect. “On Jan. 20, Joe Biden will be sworn in as president of the United States. Until then, he is president-elect of the United States. But what exactly does it mean to be president-elect of the United States? As a lawyer and philosopher who studies word meaning, I have researched the meaning and history of the term “president-elect” using publicly available resources like the Corpus of Historical American English – a searchable database of over 400 million words of historical American English text. I’ve also used Founders Online, which makes freely available many documents written by the nation’s founders. “President-elect” is not a term that is legally defined in U.S. law. Rather, the term’s meaning has developed over time through its use by the public. Its use can be traced all the way back to George Washington.”  
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    Federal leaders have two options if they want to rein in Trump
    Kirsten Carlson, associate professor of law and adjunct associate professor of political science, wrote an article for the Conversation.” As the world reacts to the Jan. 6 armed attack on the U.S. Capitol encouraged by President Donald Trump, many Americans are wondering what happens next. Members of Congress, high-level officials and even major corporations and business groups have called for Trump’s removal from office. Prominent elected and appointed officials appear to have already sidelined Trump informally. Vice President Mike Pence was reportedly the highest-level official to review the decision to call out the D.C. National Guard to respond to the assault on the Capitol. Informal actions like this may continue, but political leaders are considering more formal options as well. They have two ways to handle it: impeachment and the 25th Amendment.”
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    Can employers require vaccinations?
    As the nation inches closer to a coronavirus vaccine, many businesses are wondering if they can mandate its employees to get vaccinated. Legal experts across the state have already begun to weigh in on the matter. “Employers have quite a lot of authority in requiring something like a vaccination for their employees,” Lance Gable, an associate law professor at Wayne State, said. “It’s especially true if the vaccine is likely to create a safe and healthy work environment.” Gable said we often see vaccinate mandates for those working in health care, but other industries have also set such requirements when it comes to getting vaccinations like the flu shot. In such cases, there are exemptions spelled out by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. “Employers have to allow for exceptions if people have either a disability, which would be covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, or if someone has a strongly-held religious objection, (then) there are some other civil rights protections that allow them to get an exemption from a vaccine requirement on that basis,” Gable said. Gable said it’s yet to be said whether these same exemptions will apply to the COVID-19 vaccine, but it’s a matter many hope the EEOC will clarify before the vaccine is made available.
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    Meet Michigan's incoming Supreme Court justice: Elizabeth Welch
    Wayne State University professor Robert Sedler, an expert in constitutional law, said while Elizabeth Welch's election to the Michigan Supreme Court means there are more justices nominated by Democrats than Republicans, partisanship doesn't always determine how justices vote. He noted rulings where GOP-nominated justices David Viviano and Elizabeth Clement have sided with their Democratic-nominated colleagues. A notable exception, Sedler said, was the October ruling in which the court decided that a 1945 law that Gov. Gretchen Whitmer relied on for her emergency orders to combat COVID-19 was unconstitutional. The four GOP-nominated justices all ruled to void the law, sparking anger from Democrats. "It was not typical of the decisions coming from the court," Sedler said. "The court acted in a very partisan way." Sedler said while the court and the elections for justices are officially nonpartisan, he believes members keep their political support in mind. "You don't forget who brought you to the dance," he said.