Show Prep: Tues, Dec. 9

House-approved Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act: A license to discriminate? |

Forty years after East Lansing became the first city in the United States to ban discrimination against gay residents, Mayor Nathan Triplett is worried that the state may undermine those protections.

Get the facts: Understanding Michigan RFRA – Michigan House Republicans

Accusation: The broadly written Religious Freedom Restoration Act would allow, for example, an EMT to refuse emergency treatment to a gay person or a pharmacist to refuse to refill HIV medication, because God decreed gays and lesbians should be put to death. REALITY. There are no nuances with regards to emergency medical services. There is a federal law called EMTALA that ensures access to emergency medical services (e.g. a hospital must provide emergency care to anybody who shows up in the ER, regardless of ability to pay). Thus, even if a state RFRA was wrongly interpreted to allow the refusal of emergency care, it would nevertheless be preempted by EMTALA.


15. Does EMTALA apply only to people without insurance? No. Despite the fact that the purpose of the statute is to prevent “patient dumping”, several Courts have held that there is no requirement that the patient in fact be unable to pay his bills or that there be an economic motivation behind the decision to transfer the patient. Cooper v. Gulf Breeze Hospital, 839 F. Supp. 1538 (1993). The statute expressly provides that the Act’s provisions apply to all patients “whether or not eligible for Medicare benefits”. [42 USC 1395dd(a)]


A SUMMARY OF HOUSE BILL 5958 AS INTRODUCED 11-13-14 The bill would create the Michigan Religious Freedom Restoration Act to limit governmental action that substantially burdens a person’s exercise of religion, set forth legislative findings, allow a person to assert such a burden as a claim or a defense in a judicial or administrative proceeding, and to provide remedies.

Internet sales tax revived by Michigan lawmakers

Michigan lawmakers are breathing new life into bills that would force retailers such as to collect the state’s sales tax on Internet purchases.

SB Council calls for specific changes to improve relations between police, community

After a long evening of protest from South Bend residents concerning the past events in Ferguson and New York the South Bend Common Council adopted a resolution unanimously (8-0) to change the way they will view police and citizen relationships. The resolution 4013-14 called for 5 key changes that included a citizen’s review board, minority hiring program, police body cameras, reports of incidents by race, and employee behavior warning system. “I am elated that the council supported this measure. The community won this change. Many residents came out and voiced their concerns and demanded change and that’s what they are going to get,” says Councilman Henry Davis, Jr. who sponsored the resolution.

Court: No pay for Amazon warehouse security checks

The Supreme Court says warehouse workers who fill orders for retail giant Amazon don’t have to be paid for time spent waiting to pass through security checks at the end of their shifts.

Senate report on CIA program details brutality, dishonesty – The Washington Post

An exhaustive, five-year Senate investigation of the CIA’s secret interrogations of terrorism suspects renders a strikingly bleak verdict of a program launched in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, describing levels of brutality, dishonesty and seemingly arbitrary violence that at times brought even agency employees to moments of anguish.

Senate to Release Report on Bush-Era Interrogation Techniques and Policies

U.S. Marines are on high alert. So are the CIA and the White House, for that matter.


Obamacare architect Jonathan Gruber — the gaffe-prone MIT professor who boasted that Democrats purposely deceived the American public about the health care law — is expected to break his silence this morning in a much-anticipated congressional hearing Republicans predict will undo the Affordable Care Act.

SB Common Council approves social media policy

The South Bend Common Council voted 6-2, approving a social media policy Monday night. The policy applies to council members’ use of social media — as public officials. The nine-page ordinance also outlines rules for the use of city-owned technology (e.g. iPads).

Man with knife survives attack by 525-pound bear

But Johnson had a 5-inch knife in his right hand.

Government tells Americans to stop eating cookie dough |

The U.S. Department of Agriculture has issued an order that millions of Americans will likely find impossible to carry out: stop eating raw cookie dough.