Daily Briefs (Jan 17)

Holiday Hours
The Wayne County Clerk’s Office will be closed on Monday, January 17 in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday.

The Wayne County Probate Court will be closed in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day on Monday, January 17, and will re-open on Tuesday, January 18 at 8 a.m.

The Third Circuit Court Civil, Criminal and Family Divisions will be closed Monday, January 17. The court will reopen on Tuesday, January 18.

Gov. Snyder to give first State of State address Jan. 19
LANSING (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder will deliver his first annual State of the State address on Jan. 19, the earliest date in more than a decade.

Snyder will give the address at 7 p.m. in the House Chamber at the Capitol. All 148 lawmakers are invited, as are the Supreme Court justices, department heads and various other guests and officials.

The address will be broadcast live on most public television and radio stations as well as on the Michigan Government Television cable channel.

The earlier-than-usual date is tied to the new governor’s rush to get moving on his plan to reinvent Michigan.

Next up on Snyder’s agenda is proposing a budget plan for the fiscal year that starts Oct. 1 and for the following year. He wants lawmakers to have the two-year budget passed by July 1.

ACLU seeks halt to city’s ordinance against panhandling
ROYAL OAK (AP) — The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan has asked a Detroit suburb to stop enforcing what it calls an unconstitutional ordinance that punishes peaceful panhandling on public sidewalks.

ACLU of Michigan staff attorney Dan Korobkin says the city of Royal Oak bars individuals from peacefully asking for money on all public streets and sidewalks. He says Royal Oak police have made at least 15 arrests for begging over the past two years.

Korobkin says cities can enforce narrowly defined laws against aggressive and threatening panhandling, but state and federal courts says panhandling is protected free speech and have struck down similar ordinances in New York, California, Massachusetts and Florida.

City Attorney David Gillam said he received the ACLU’s letter last Thursday and will review its request.

Judge Zatkoff spikes challenge to AIG rescue
PORT HURON, Mich. (AP) — A federal judge in Michigan has dismissed a lawsuit challenging the bailout of American International Group on religious grounds.

An Ypsilanti man claimed the United States should not have bailed out AIG because the insurance giant sells international financial products specifically tailored to Islamic principles. But after more than two years of litigation, a judge said Friday that such products are not a result of direct government action and represent just a fraction of AIG’s revenue.

U.S. District Judge Lawrence Zatkoff in Port Huron says the bailout is not an “excessive entanglement with religion.” He says it’s not comparable to tax dollars going directly to a church or religious institution.

An Ann Arbor law group that takes cases on behalf of Christian causes says it will appeal.