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6:07 pm
Fri May 14, 2010

U.S. Supreme Court asked to intervene in MI militia case

DETROIT –

Defense lawyers are asking a U.S. Supreme Court justice to intervene and free nine members of a Michigan-based militia from jail.

Richard Helfrick and Todd Shanker say an appeals court followed the wrong standard in continuing to keep the nine in custody while the government challenges a ruling that would send them home until trial.

The petition was filed Friday with Justice John Paul Stevens, who has some authority over federal cases in Michigan.

Members of a group called Hutaree are charged with conspiracy to commit sedition against the government. A three-judge panel on the appeals court blocked their release from jail this week while another panel considers a full appeal.

Shanker says an immediate response from the Supreme Court is unlikely.