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End of session reflects friction on Supreme Court

By Rick Pluta, Michigan Public Radio Network


LANSING, MI – The Michigan Supreme Court worked into the weekend to wrap up its 2010 session by issuing seven opinions. The final opinions of the term reflected many of the divisions that have split the court this year.

By slim majorities, the court ruled teachers in Lansing may sue the school district for failing to expel students who assaulted them, and made it easier for injured people to collect damages for bodily impairments.

The court issued some big decisions this year - such as dismissing a challenge to how Michigan provides attorneys to indigent criminal defendants, and allowing insurance companies to use credit scores as a part of setting premiums.

But this session was also marked by tensions on the bench. Justices openly feuded, and three GOP members of the court asked Michigan's Judicial Tenure Commission to investigate Justice Elizabeth Weaver for misconduct. Weaver's long been at odds with her fellow Republicans and filed to run for reelection this year as an independent.

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