Daily Briefs

Judge tosses Haiti orphanage suit against columnist Albom

PONTIAC (AP) — A judge has dismissed a lawsuit that operators of a Haitian orphanage filed against Mitch Albom and one of his charities, claiming the best-selling author broke terms of an agreement about running the orphanage after the devastating January 2010 earthquake.
The suit was filed in September in Oakland County Circuit Court in Pontiac by the Caring and Sharing Mission charity and its founder, the Rev. John Hearn.
Hearn says that the Detroit Free Press columnist and his A Hole in the Roof Foundation didn’t follow an operating agreement they entered into with the Port-au-Prince mission after the quake.
On Monday, Judge Leo Bowman ruled that Hearn and his charity have no basis for their claim.
Albom has written several books, including the 1997 best-seller “Tuesdays with Morrie.”

Voting Rights Act should be upheld, ABA urges U.S. high court

 In an amicus brief filed Feb. 1, the American Bar Association is urging the U.S. Supreme Court to affirm a decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and uphold Congress’ 2006 reauthorization of the Voting Rights Act as constitutional.
The ABA brief in Shelby County v. Holder says that “litigation alone” under the act's Section 2 “would not be an adequate and sufficient remedy for voting discrimination”in covered jurisdictions with a past history of racial discrimination in voting. The act’s Section 5 bars such jurisdictions from making changes in election laws without first getting approval of the Justice Department or a three-judge federal court in Washington.
“Voting rights litigation under Section 2, as many ABA members know from front line experience, is extremely complex and costly,” the brief observes. “During the several years it regularly takes to litigate a Section 2 case, officials who were elected under an improper election regime continue to hold office, implement policies, and make a wide variety of decisions that remain in effect, often long after the election process that brought them to power is found to be discriminatory.”
The brief states that the “time, cost and complexity of prosecuting a Section 2 case cause significant on-going harms that could be minimized by Section 5 preclearance but often cannot be remedied after-the-fact.”

WBA to hold general membership meeting Feb. 12 at Keith Center

The Wolverine Bar Association will be holding a general membership meeting on Tuesday, Feb. 12. Membership meetings are held on the second Tuesday of most months. All meetings are held at 6 p.m. at the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights at Wayne State University Law School, 471 W. Palmer, in Detroit. For more information, contact the WBA office at 313-962-0250.