Daily Briefs

Michigan Supreme Court hears key case on jobless fraud


LANSING, Mich. (AP) — The Michigan Supreme Court is hearing arguments in a case that will determine if people who were wrongly accused of defrauding the unemployment program can sue the state.

An automated computer system run by Gov. Rick Snyder’s administration was a disaster. Thousands of people were accused of cheating to get unemployment aid. They were forced to repay money, along with substantial penalties, before the state acknowledged errors.

The issue for the Supreme Court on Wednesday was a technical one: Did plaintiffs wait too long to sue?

The Unemployment Insurance Agency is being represented by Attorney General Bill Schuette’s office. Schuette, a Republican candidate for governor, says the computer system “failed Michigan.” But he says he must defend the state regardless of whether a law is good.

 

University of Michigan: Faculty views can’t affect students
 

ANN ARBOR, Mich. (AP) — University of Michigan officials say they are working to ensure that faculty members’ political views won’t affect their responsibilities to students after two instructors decided not to recommend students for a study programs in Israel.

The Ann Arbor school announced Tuesday that it has created a faculty panel to examine issues stemming from the incidents. A letter obtained by news outlets says the university also disciplined one instructor, professor John Cheney-Lippold, by denying him a raise this year and freezing his sabbatical eligibility for two years.

The school says it opposes academic boycotts of Israeli academic institutions. Some individuals and organizations have called for such boycotts over Israel’s treatment of Palestinians.

It’s not clear whether the other instructor, a teaching assistant, will be disciplined.

A senior Israeli cabinet minister admonished university President Mark Schlissel in a letter this week over incidents the politician described as “vitriolic hatred against” Israel.

 

Thousands of absentee Michigan voters get wrong instructions
 

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) — Thousands of absentee voters were mistakenly sent instructions on how to vote a straight-party ticket even though that’s not an option in next month’s Michigan election.

The Lansing State Journal reports Meridian Township Clerk Brett Dreyfus says about 5,000 ballots were sent before the problem was discovered. Dreyfus blamed a vendor for sending incorrect instructions but acknowledged his office should have caught it before mailing absentee ballots in the Lansing-area community.

The township noted the error in a posting on its website .

A federal appeals court last month revived Michigan’s ban on straight-party voting. Voters must go line by line if they want to vote for candidates in partisan races.

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