News Briefs 9/12


GVL Briefs

Josh Alburtus, News Editor

Codification of abortion rights in MI will appear on Nov. ballot, MI Supreme Court rules

Following a brief legal fight, the Michigan Supreme Court weighed in on Sept. 8 on whether to allow an abortion rights initiative to appear on Nov. midterm election ballots in the state.

In a 5-2 decision, the Court ruled that the initiative, known as the Michigan Right to Reproductive Freedom Initiative, must be added to ballots across the state after filing the requisite number of signatures to be considered.

The Court was asked to settle the matter after the state’s Board of Canvassers, in a deadlocked 2-2 vote along party lines, rejected the initiative that would ask voters to decide whether to add abortion rights to the Michigan constitution.

The rejection had come despite a recommendation from the state’s Bureau of Elections to allow its passage after verifying that it had collected over 596,000 valid signatures – about 150,000 more than needed to qualify and appear on the ballot.

With the Court’s decision, Michigan is set to be a key flashpoint in the national debate over abortion rights as voters in the state decide, after months of legal ambiguity, whether Michigan will allow for abortion to continue as a codified right.

Visiting historian draws parallels between Cold War and ‘twilight struggles’ of today

Hal Brands, the Henry A. Kissinger Distinguished Professor of Global Affairs at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, addressed the Grand Valley State University community on Sept. 8, and said he thinks the United States is currently in what he characterizes as “twilight struggles” with the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.

As part of a lecture series sponsored by GVSU’s Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, Brands said the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union during the 20th century held precedence and lessons for the modern age as both China and Russia have made moves to establish dominance in their respective regions.

The United States’ expansive network of economic and military alliances with nations across the globe, Brand stressed, makes the nation an incomparable force against the ambitions of its primary opponents – even as concerns have grown in recent years regarding a waning of U.S. hegemony on the world stage.

GV area gas prices increase as some U.S. towns see prices under $3.00 per gallon

Gas prices in areas surrounding Grand Valley State University have risen once more following a a weekslong decline and a summer of skyrocketing prices that, coupled with rising inflation, crippled the economic power of American consumers.

According to a local database compiled by the nationwide fuel price analysis organization GasBuddy, prices at fueling stations within a 10-mile range of GVSU’s Allendale campus ranged anywhere from $3.53 per gallon to $3.89 in the early morning hours of Sept. 11.

Prices is GVSU’s Ottawa County rose to an average of $3.73 per gallon, with neighboring Kent County rising to an average of $3.76.

The increase comes as a national trend of declining fuel prices continues, with multiple towns in the southern United States in recent days becoming the first to once again see gas prices under $3.00 per gallon.