Ingham Co. judge cancels right-to-work hearing - MyFoxAustin.com | KTBC Fox 7 | News, Weather, Sports

Ingham Co. judge cancels right-to-work hearing

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Robert Davis Robert Davis

By Roop Raj
FOX 2 News

DETROIT (WJBK) -- An Ingham County judge has canceled a hearing in Lansing challenging the validity of one of the right-to-work bills passed Tuesday.

The scene in the state Capitol last Thursday set the stage for a lawsuit against the state of Michigan. At question? Was the Open Meetings Act violated when a number of protesters were locked out of the debate about the right-to-work bills?

Activist Robert Davis is the man who filed the suit. The hearing was supposed to be Thursday, but because of the controversial issues, the Attorney General's office wanted to have chance to look at discovery.

Davis argues that the Capitol still had room inside when the doors were locked and people were turned away.

State police say it was a matter of public safety. Letting these demonstrators in would have endangered the safety of those inside. Davis says the bad guys could have been weeded out making room for activists who wanted to witness discussion of the bills.

Davis says his lawsuit also argues that the protesters who were out of hand were on the Senate side and not the House side. He argues that because of this, the House side should have remained open.

Legal analyst Charlie Langton says Michigan will likely have a good defense if they argue that the demonstrators could have caused a riot because of the number of people.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed the two bitterly contested right-to-work bills into law Tuesday that prohibit requiring nonunion workers to pay union fees. One deals with private-sector workers and the other with government workers.

The laws take effect 90 days after the Legislature adjourns this month, giving unions little time to devise a strategy for keeping members on board and convincing nonmembers to continue their financial support.

- The Associated Press contributed to this story

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