Daily Briefs ...

WMU-Cooley exceeds original goal for student relief fund

In April, WMU-Cooley Law School established a Student Relief Fund in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Since the establishment of the fund, donations from alumni and friends of WMU-Cooley raised more than $45,000, surpassing the original fundraising goal of $35,000.

Funds raised are being used to provide financial support to WMU-Cooley students who are facing an array of challenges during this crisis. The law school receives requests for support daily and has had over 200 requests for assistance. Those needing assistance have lost jobs, are experiencing  dramatic cuts in pay, have medical expenses, are faced with housing issues, or have educational expenses that are outpacing their capacity to fund.

“I am humbled that many of our alumni and friends have stepped up to help our students,” said James McGrath, WMU-Cooley’s president and dean.  “It is gratifying to see such generous support from the Cooley family in these difficult times.”

Gifts of any size can be made to the WMU-Cooley Student Relief Fund at https://www.cooley.edu/alumni/make-a-donation.

PAAM issues statement on state’s COVID-19 enforcement

In a statement issued Wednesday, the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan (PAAM) – an association consisting of all 83 elected county prosecutors – issued a statement on the state’s COVID-19 enforcement efforts.

In the statement, PAAM acknowledged the legal challenge brought by the State Legislature against Governor Whitmer over her authority to issue Executive Orders but stated that, because no court has issued a ruling, “the Executive Orders are still in force.” 

This statement comes after Attorney General Nessel issued similar guidance on May 5 to law enforcement across the state where she found the two orders – Stay Home, Stay Safe Order (2020-70) and Places of Public Accommodation Order (2020-69) – to be valid under the Emergency Powers of the Governor Act and asked local law enforcement agencies to continue their enforcement efforts.  

“This is a bi-partisan group of legal experts who have spoken out simply because it’s the right thing to do. To those law enforcement agencies that have questioned their ability to enforce the Governor’s Order in light of the current legal dispute, both the Department of Attorney General and the Prosecuting Attorneys Association of Michigan have independently confirmed that the Governor’s orders are valid and enforceable until and unless a court says otherwise,” said Nessel. “I join the county prosecutors in hoping that the court brings clarity to these issues soon. In the meantime, I stand with them as we work with local communities to overcome the challenges and hardships presented by COVID-19.”

Oral argument will be heard by Court of Claims Judge Cynthia Stephens in Michigan House of Representatives and Michigan Senate v Whitmer, Case No. 20-000079, on Friday, May 15 at 10 a.m.


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