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Michigan

“Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway filed retirement papers last month, but she didn’t announce her plans until Monday when the state Judicial Tenure Commission accused her of ‘blatant and brazen’ misconduct.” Hathaway had allegedly hidden assets from creditors during a real estate short sale and responded untruthfully during a judicial disciplinary investigation of the matter. [Debra Cassens Weiss/ABA Journal, Volokh]

It is worth noting that Justice Hathaway won an upset victory over an admirable incumbent, Chief Justice Cliff Taylor, following 2008′s most unfair attack ad, in which Democrats broadcast a photo of Taylor with his eyes closed on the bench — the sort of picture that, given human physiology and the right kind of camera work, could be obtained of any jurist — and accused him of sleeping. Taylor told the Detroit News that the piece “wasn’t true, but it was a very compelling piece of political theater”. I noted the story four years ago. In hindsight, we can see that the attack ad not only took down an outstanding judge, but elevated a challenger who proved little credit to the bench.

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It’s a wonder the citizens of Michigan aren’t more grateful to the United Auto Workers union for its many accomplishments [USA Today, Fox News]:

Chrysler took quick action two years ago after television news reports of workers at its Jefferson North plant in Detroit who were apparently drinking beer or smoking marijuana on lunch breaks against factory policies…. now they’re back on the job, having won an arbitration decision that reinstated them to their union jobs.

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As lawmakers in Lansing prepare for a vote, unions are training supporters in what is euphemistically called “civil disobedience,” and state troopers are arriving in numbers to counter expected efforts to physically prevent the legislature from accomplishing its intended business. After neighboring Indiana adopted a similar law it saw a surge of incoming business relocation interest. [Detroit News, Free Press, MLive, Jillian Kay Melchior, NR; earlier]

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Author Russell Nieli came to Cato this week to discuss his new book and I gave a brief commentary. More: John Rosenberg, Discriminations.

Related: Voting on ideological lines, the Sixth Circuit declares void the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, suggesting a constitutionalized “right” to racial preferences. Calling SCOTUS! [Jonathan Adler]

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More election notes

by Walter Olson on November 8, 2012

  • Virginia voters overwhelmingly voted to curtail state’s eminent domain powers [Ilya Somin]
  • “The most misunderstood Supreme Court decision of the last thirty years, Citizens United, made absolutely no difference in this election. Which is no surprise to anyone who read the case. Let’s hope we stop seeing attacks on free speech based on faulty premises.” [Ted Frank; Alison Frankel, Reuters; John Samples, Cato]
  • “A Quick Round-Up on Education Policy and the 2012 Elections” [Andrew Coulson, Cato]
  • By 58-42 margin, voters in liberal Montgomery County, Md. curtail county’s obligation to bargain with police union over policy changes with effects on working conditions [Gazette, earlier here, etc.]
  • “Double down on social issues” advice wouldn’t have put Romney over the top, to put it mildly [Hans Bader] Medieval obstetrics expert Akin pulled less than 40 percent against Missouri’s unpopular McCaskill [Andrew Stuttaford, Secular Right]
  • Entrenchment of union rights in state constitution wasn’t the only bad idea that Michigan voters rejected: they also turned thumbs down on unionization of home health aides and mandates for utility use of renewables [Conn Carroll]
  • Louisiana voters strengthened protection for individual gun rights in their state constitution [Volokh]

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Election roundup

by Walter Olson on November 6, 2012

Richard Epstein on an overreaching ballot measure that would insert labor union prerogatives into the Michigan constitution (earlier here, here). The measure is flagging in polls, despite a robo-call in favor by Bill Clinton, and has drawn opposition even from the stoutly liberal Detroit Free Press [Shikha Dalmia]

P.S. The WSJ is reminding us again about the not-wholly-unrelated battle for the Michigan Supreme Court (earlier).

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Politics roundup

by Walter Olson on October 27, 2012

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…take note of what labor unions are doing on the Michigan ballot [Emilio Rocca/CEI, earlier] More: Shikha Dalmia, WSJ.

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Politics roundup

by Walter Olson on September 21, 2012

  • Romney’s view of government benefits as politically hypnotic mirrors a “gratitude” fallacy advanced by many progressives [Julian Sanchez, Cato]
  • Ascendancy of “constituent services” on Hill is a bad sign on many levels [Fred Bernstein, NYT]
  • Dems vs. ACLU: platform vows to obliterate Citizens United [Damon Root]
  • Union-backed “Protect our Jobs Amendment” (POJA) ballot proposal, constitutionalizing “collective bargaining” concept, would take Michigan down path of Italian labor law [Emilio Rocca, CEI "Open Market"]
  • Isn’t it sad there’s a major political party contemptuous of science? Actually there are two [Alex Berezow/Hank Campbell, RCP]
  • Yale unions defeat uniformed-worker unions in battle to take over New Haven government [NH Independent] SEIU almost had Connecticut-5 House seat in pocket, till FBI arrested candidate’s finance manager [PSI]
  • Checking up on the outcome of a 1995 class action co-repped by attorney Barack Obama [Hans Bader]

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Back to school roundup

by Walter Olson on September 4, 2012

  • “Do The New School Food Regulations Actually Hinder Scratch-Cooking?” Looks like it [Bettina Elias Siegel]
  • What Gloria Romero saw in Sacramento: prison guards lobby for longer sentences, nurses lobby against first aid, but the teachers union was the most untouchable of all [WSJ] Media Matters and the NEA [David Martosko, Daily Caller]
  • To earn top ratings under new city evaluation scheme, Denver teachers must press students to “challenge… the dominant culture” and “take social action to change/improve society or work for social justice.” Gee, thanks, Gates Foundation [9NEWS, auto-plays; earlier on ideological tests for educators]
  • “School Tells Deaf Boy, ‘Hunter,’ to Change His Name — It’s Too Violent” [Skenazy/Agitator]
  • More on pressure for race quotas in school discipline [Casey Cheney, Heartlander, quotes me; earlier here, here, etc.]
  • Allegations of mass cheating in, too perfectly, Harvard “Introduction to Congress” course: “I say give the cheaters an A, fail the rest” [Alex Tabarrok] Suspended fraternity sues Miami University for $10 million [Cincinnati Enquirer]
  • On coach liability for player injuries [Matt Mitten, Marquette]
  • ACLU files novel suit alleging Michigan and its agencies failed legal, constitutional obligation to bring student reading up to grade level [WSJ Law Blog]

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Labor roundup

by Walter Olson on August 7, 2012

  • I dreamed someone sabotaged the memory care unit by switching Rosa DeLauro’s name tag with Rosa Luxemburg’s [Fox; Raising Hale, Labor Union Report with more on alleged nursing home sabotage and the Connecticut pols that enable it]
  • New York’s Scaffold Law will inflate cost of Tappan Zee Bridge rebuild by hundreds of millions, according to Bill Hammond [NYDN]
  • “In Michigan, a ballot measure to enshrine union rights” [Reuters, WDIV]
  • Massachusetts voters rejected unionizing child care providers, but legislature decided to do it anyway [Boston Herald]
  • SEIU flexes muscle: “Surprise strike closes SF courtrooms” [SFGate, NBC Bay Area]
  • If it goes to arbitration, forget about disciplining a Portland police officer [Oregonian via PoliceMisconduct.net] Boston police overtime scandal [Reason] Related, San Bernardino [San Diego Union-Tribune]
  • Louisiana teacher union furor: “Now There’s A Legal Defense Fund For Schools The LAE Is Threatening To Sue” [Hayride, earlier]
  • As unions terrorize a Philadelphia construction project, much of the city looks the other way [Inga Saffron, Philadelphia Inquirer, PhillyBully.com; via Barro]

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Food law roundup

by Walter Olson on May 31, 2012

  • Bloomberg’s petty tyranny: NYC plans ban on soft drink sizes bigger than 16 oz. at most eateries, though free refills and sales of multiple cups will still be legal [NBC New York]
  • Will Michigan suppress a heritage-breed pig farm? [PLF] NW bakers cautiously optimistic as state of Washington enacts Cottage Food Act [Seattle Times]
  • Hide your plates: here comes the feds’ mandatory recipe for school lunch [NH Register] School fined $15K for accidental soda [Katherine Mangu-Ward] Opt out of school lunch! [Baylen Linnekin]
  • Losing his breakfast: court tosses New Yorker’s suit claiming that promised free food spread at club fell short [Lowering the Bar, earlier]
  • Amid parent revolt, Massachusetts lawmakers intervene with intent to block school bake-sale ban [Springfield Republican, Boston Herald, Ronald Bailey]
  • Interview on farm and food issues with Joel Salatin [Baylen Linnekin, Reason]
  • “Nutella class action settlement far worse than being reported” [Ted Frank]
  • Under political pressure, candy bar makers phase out some consumer choices [Greg Beato] Hans Bader on dismissal of Happy Meal lawsuit [CEI, earlier]

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May 29 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 29, 2012

  • Congress again debates bad idea of race-based government for native Hawaiians [Ramesh Ponnuru, Ilya Shapiro/Cato; earlier here, etc.]
  • “I could have been killed for blogging.” [Patterico, Scott Greenfield] Latest blogger “swatting” (bogus police call) hits RedState’s Erick Erickson [same] Incivility is a hazard for bloggers, but fear for families’ physical safety shouldn’t be [Jonathan Adler, Amy Alkon] Dear authorities in Montgomery County, Md. and elsewhere: you should know it’s not every day Radley Balko calls for tougher law enforcement. Earlier here and here.
  • More dying from guns than from car crashes? Eugene Volokh skewers some misleading arguments from the Detroit Free Press;
  • Mississippi: Judge dismisses Dickie Scruggs’s motion to vacate bribery conviction [AP; Tom Freeland and more]
  • Washington Times kindly cites coverage in this space on Maryland “structuring” prosecutions [editorial]. Maryland delayed foreclosures and is now paying the price in slower housing recovery [Hayley Peterson, Examiner]
  • Andrew Pincus defends arbitration and SCOTUS decision in Concepcion [NYTimes "DealBook"; NLJ] Effort in Florida to ease use of arbitration in med-mal disputes [Miami Herald]
  • Michigan Supreme Court judge Diane Hathaway, elected via 2008′s most unfair attack ad, is now in a spot of ethical bother [Ted Frank]

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Lawyers representing a White Lake, Mich. woman say that whether or not Ally Financial was within its rights to repossess her 2006 Pontiac, it was not entitled to the half-tank of gas it carried. They are asking class-action status on behalf of Michigan customers and seek $5 million. [Detroit News]

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February 17 roundup

by Walter Olson on February 17, 2012

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A proposed Michigan law would apply legal scrutiny to men’s motives for walking out of relationships. [Fathers and Families via Amy Alkon]

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