Michigan ACLU http://michiganradio.org en Abortion rights advocates won’t attempt repeal of Right to Life-backed insurance rider law http://michiganradio.org/post/abortion-rights-advocates-won-t-attempt-repeal-right-life-backed-insurance-rider-law <p>A coalition of abortion rights advocates will not try to immediately repeal a Right to Life-backed state law that requires women to buy a separate health insurance rider to cover abortions.</p><p>“Our efforts and our resources are better spent on a broad strategy to address this growing frustration that is about more than just one issue in one discrete moment in time, but about the larger impact of politicians using women as target practice,” said Rana Elmir, Deputy Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan.</p> Tue, 14 Jan 2014 12:26:43 +0000 Lindsey Smith 16008 at http://michiganradio.org Abortion rights advocates won’t attempt repeal of Right to Life-backed insurance rider law ACLU says Catholic hospitals put women's health at risk http://michiganradio.org/post/aclu-says-catholic-hospitals-put-womens-health-risk <p>The <a href="https://www.aclu.org/reproductive-freedom-womens-rights/tamesha-means-v-united-states-conference-catholic-bishops">ACLU is suing the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops on behalf of a Michigan woman</a>. At the heart of the issue is whether women can get appropriate medical care at a Catholic hospital.</p><p>This is becoming more important because more secular hospitals are merging with Catholic-affiliated health care providers. By our count, of the 187 hospitals in Michigan, 26 of them are Catholic. That's 14%.</p><p><em>*Listen to our interview above.</em></p><p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 20:36:48 +0000 Stateside Staff 15860 at http://michiganradio.org ACLU says Catholic hospitals put women's health at risk Fight over veto-proof abortion law not over; groups going to work to overturn http://michiganradio.org/post/fight-over-veto-proof-abortion-law-not-over-groups-going-work-overturn <p>What is it about Decembers in Lansing? Last year, it was <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/lame-duck-over-political-eyes-turn-2014">right-to-work</a>. This year, the controversy is over a petition initiative, a veto-proof law that will require people to buy separate insurance for abortion coverage. It could not be part of a basic health insurance package in Michigan.</p><p>It was an initiated law, put before the GOP-led Legislature by the very, very influential anti-abortion group <a href="http://michiganradio.org/term/right-life">Right to Life</a>. As we’ve<a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/lot-can-go-wrong-petition-drive-right-life-has-mastered-art-initiative"> noted before</a> on <a href="http://michiganradio.org/programs/its-just-politics"><em>It’s Just Politics</em></a>, Right to Life is virtually unrivaled in its ability to organize a petition campaign, and to squeeze votes out of the Legislature, especially when Republicans are in charge.</p><p>So, that’s it, right? Law is passed. All done.</p><p>Well, not so fast. Because what is begotten by a petition drive can be challenged by a petition drive. Michigan’s pro-choice movement thinks it can take down this new law with a referendum. In fact, meetings have started to try to organize a ballot drive. Fri, 13 Dec 2013 19:07:28 +0000 Zoe Clark & Rick Pluta 15685 at http://michiganradio.org Fight over veto-proof abortion law not over; groups going to work to overturn Michigan Attorney General appeals order for parole hearings for teen offenders serving life in jail http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-attorney-general-appeals-order-parole-hearings-teen-offenders-serving-life-jail <p>Michigan’s Attorney General has decided to appeal a federal judge’s order that would require parole hearings for more than 300 <a href="http://www.propublica.org/article/despite-supreme-court-ruling-many-minors-may-stay-in-prison-for-life">juvenile offenders serving life sentences.</a></p><p>The U.S. Supreme Court ruled last year that sentencing juvenile offenders to automatic life without parole constituted “cruel and unusual” punishment.&nbsp;</p> Mon, 02 Dec 2013 19:20:34 +0000 Steve Carmody 15504 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan Attorney General appeals order for parole hearings for teen offenders serving life in jail State rejects “WAR SUX” license plate, Ann Arbor man sues http://michiganradio.org/post/state-rejects-war-sux-license-plate-ann-arbor-man-sues <p>Another Michigan man who was denied a personalized license plate the state says could be considered “offensive to good taste and decency” is suing on free speech grounds.</p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union <a href="http://michiganradio.org/post/iraq-war-vet-sues-state-over-vanity-plate">is already suing the Secretary of State over a similar case </a>in federal court in Grand Rapids.</p> Fri, 22 Nov 2013 19:26:10 +0000 Lindsey Smith 15399 at http://michiganradio.org State rejects “WAR SUX” license plate, Ann Arbor man sues ACLU warns 84 Michigan cities and towns to change their local panhandling laws http://michiganradio.org/post/aclu-warns-84-michigan-cities-and-towns-change-their-local-panhandling-laws <p><a href="http://www.aclumich.org/FreeSpeechLetters">Dozens of Michigan communities </a>are getting letters from the American Civil Liberties Union warning them that their anti-panhandling laws may be unconstitutional.</p><p>Over the summer, a federal appeals court ruled Michigan’s anti-panhandling law was unconstitutional.&nbsp;</p> Tue, 29 Oct 2013 19:12:50 +0000 Steve Carmody 15040 at http://michiganradio.org ACLU warns 84 Michigan cities and towns to change their local panhandling laws After lawsuit, Isabella County jail inmates get more time outside cells http://michiganradio.org/post/after-lawsuit-isabella-county-jail-inmates-get-more-time-outside-cells <p>Isabella County jail inmates are spending more time outside their cells these days.</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The American Civil Liberties Union sued Isabella County after receiving complaints that inmates were not allowed exercise time outside their cells.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Daniel Manville is the director the Michigan State University law school&#39;s Civil Rights Clinic. He says jail officials were willing to reach an out-of-court settlement.&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Manville says many county jails in Michigan are in a similar position because of inmate overcrowding and budget cuts.</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&ldquo;It&rsquo;s my understanding that there&#39;s a few other jails that are under litigation,&rdquo; says Manville. &ldquo;We&rsquo;ve even started talking to a couple jails about making changes, and they are willing to sit down even before we file a lawsuit and we may even be able to resolve it without a lawsuit.&rdquo;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">As part of the Isabella County jail settlement, inmates will have access to an exercise room for an hour a day five days a week.</span></p><p> Thu, 03 Oct 2013 21:18:28 +0000 Steve Carmody 14708 at http://michiganradio.org After lawsuit, Isabella County jail inmates get more time outside cells Bills would allow faith-based agencies to refuse to process adoptions in Michigan http://michiganradio.org/post/bills-would-allow-faith-based-agencies-refuse-process-adoptions-michigan <p style="margin-left:.5in;">A state House committee has approved legislation that would allow faith-based adoption agencies to refuse to handle placements for religious reasons. Instead, under the legislation, an agency that has an objection would have to refer a qualified family to an adoption office that would handle the placement.</p> Wed, 25 Sep 2013 22:45:13 +0000 Rick Pluta 14592 at http://michiganradio.org Bills would allow faith-based agencies to refuse to process adoptions in Michigan ACLU asks for wider federal probe of Saginaw's police department http://michiganradio.org/post/aclu-asks-wider-federal-probe-saginaws-police-department <p>Civil libertarians are calling on the U.S. Justice Department to expand a probe into the Saginaw Police Department.</p><p>The Justice Department has been examining the case of Milton Hall. He's a mentally ill homeless man who was gunned down by six Saginaw police officers as he threatened them with a knife.</p><p>The case has raised questions about how the department deals with African-Americans.</p><p>Mark Fancher is with the American Civil Liberties Union. He says his office has received several allegations that Saginaw police officers operate in a racially biased manner.</p> Thu, 19 Sep 2013 19:16:05 +0000 Steve Carmody 14505 at http://michiganradio.org ACLU asks for wider federal probe of Saginaw's police department Birmingham settles ACLU lawsuit with new First Amendment policy http://michiganradio.org/post/birmingham-settles-aclu-lawsuit-new-first-amendment-policy <p>The city of Birmingham has settled a federal lawsuit by adopting a new free speech policy.</p><p>The Michigan ACLU sued the city after animal rights protesters were arrested last year.</p><p>Protesters with the Southwest Michigan Animal Rights Team (SMART) were holding signs and passing out literature outside a Birmingham fur store in December 2012.</p><p>Police told the protesters they had to “keep moving” in order to be there. When one protester questioned the officers, she was arrested and charged with loitering.</p> Fri, 30 Aug 2013 22:34:41 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 14221 at http://michiganradio.org The week in review: Detroit primaries, ACLU racial mapping case, 'fee-for-service' http://michiganradio.org/post/week-review-detroit-primaries-aclu-racial-mapping-case-fee-service <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">This week, Rina</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> Miller and Jack </span>Lessenberry<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> discuss the certification of Detroit’s mayoral </span><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/term/mike-duggan" style="line-height: 1.5;">primary results</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;">, the Detroit </span><a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/aclu-loses-appeal-fbi-racial-ethnic-profiling-case" style="line-height: 1.5;">ACLU’s case</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> against the FBI, and a union’s “fee-for-service” for employee grievances.</span></p><p> Sat, 24 Aug 2013 13:00:00 +0000 Rina Miller & Jack Lessenberry 14117 at http://michiganradio.org The week in review: Detroit primaries, ACLU racial mapping case, 'fee-for-service' Public school for a price, background on AAPS cases http://michiganradio.org/post/public-school-price-background-aaps-cases <p>In June, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/michigan-aclu-declares-ann-arbor-public-schools-decision-unconstitutional">wrote a letter</a> to the Ann Arbor School Board after the Board approved charges of $100 per semester for students to take an additional class.&nbsp;</p><p>Last week, two Pioneer High School students and their parents <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/aclu-files-lawsuit-against-ann-arbor-schools-tuition-plan">filed a law suit against Ann Arbor Public Schools</a>, arguing that the fee is limiting for students who are involved in arts programs and who need the 7th hour to take classes required to graduate.&nbsp;</p><p>The 7th hour fee was proposed because the school district faces an $18 million shortfall for the 2013-2014 year. &nbsp;</p><p>But, as Annarbor.com's Amy Biolchini <a href="http://annarbor.com/news/seventh-hour-fee-lawsuit-ann-arbor-public-schools-has-lost-case-over-fees-before/?cmpid=mlive-@aa-river#incart_river_default">pointed out</a>, this isn't the first time Ann Arbor schools have charged students.</p><p> Mon, 12 Aug 2013 20:40:47 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13941 at http://michiganradio.org Public school for a price, background on AAPS cases In this morning's news: Flint budget, Ann Arbor schools, Detroit schools http://michiganradio.org/post/mornings-news-flint-budget-ann-arbor-schools-detroit-schools <p><strong>City of Flint to recover tax money</strong></p><p>The city of Flint has found a new source of income in the effort to balance the budget. Michigan Radio’s Steve Carmody <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/flint-looks-collect-unpaid-city-income-taxes">reports</a> that around six thousand Flint residents paid their federal income taxes, but did not pay city income taxes. This may allow the Flint to collect around a million dollars in back taxes.</p><p><strong>Michigan ACLU sues Ann Arbor Public Schools</strong></p><p>The American Civil Liberties Union has <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/aclu-files-lawsuit-against-ann-arbor-schools-tuition-plan">filed a suit </a>against Ann Arbor Public Schools because of its intent to charge tuition for a seventh class.&nbsp; With the current plan, Ann Arbor high school students must pay $100 for a seventh-period elective class.&nbsp; Kary Moss of the ACLU says “it creates a two-tiered system of education. Not only for students who qualify for free and reduced lunch, but many other students won't be able to afford the seventh hour."</p><p><strong>Detroit Schools get annual report card</strong></p><p>Excellent Schools Detroit has released its <a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/report-card-detroit-schools-improving-still-work-do">annual report card </a>for the school system.&nbsp; Out of more than two hundred schools, twenty-five percent scored a C+ or better.&nbsp; Many of these higher-ranked schools are new and “fresh-start” schools, which has officials optimistic about the future of the district.</p><p> Thu, 08 Aug 2013 14:00:19 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13891 at http://michiganradio.org In this morning's news: Flint budget, Ann Arbor schools, Detroit schools Detroit teacher faces controversial termination by the EAA http://michiganradio.org/post/detroit-teacher-faces-controversial-termination-eaa <p>One year ago, Brooke Harris<a href="http://www.michiganradio.org/post/education-achievement-authority-part-2-tale-two-eaa-schools"> made headlines</a> when she was fired from her teaching job in Flint for helping students create a fundraiser for the family of Trayvon Martin.</p><p align="LEFT">Now, Harris is in trouble with another employer.</p><p>Earlier this month, she was fired from her teaching position at <a href="http://mumfordhighschool.org/">Detroit's Mumford High School</a>. That's one of the schools under the <a href="http://www.michigan.gov/eaa">Education Achievement Authority (EAA)</a>. It's a new state-run district that oversees the lowest-performing schools in Detroit. Mon, 29 Jul 2013 22:03:07 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13743 at http://michiganradio.org Detroit teacher faces controversial termination by the EAA Predatory lending lawsuit against Morgan Stanley moves forward, the suit involves Detroit homeowners http://michiganradio.org/post/predatory-lending-lawsuit-against-morgan-stanley-moves-forward-suit-involves-detroit-homeowners <p>A federal judge ruled this week that a lawsuit accusing investment banking giant Morgan Stanley of predatory lending in Detroit can move forward.</p><p></p><p>The lawsuit alleges Morgan Stanley pushed sub-prime mortgage lenders to target Detroit neighborhoods with large minority populations.</p><p></p><p>Morgan Stanley later packaged the ‘high risk’ loans into ‘mortgage backed securities’</p><p></p> Fri, 26 Jul 2013 18:21:30 +0000 Steve Carmody 13716 at http://michiganradio.org Predatory lending lawsuit against Morgan Stanley moves forward, the suit involves Detroit homeowners Michigan ACLU declares Ann Arbor Public Schools' decision 'unconstitutional' http://michiganradio.org/post/michigan-aclu-declares-ann-arbor-public-schools-decision-unconstitutional <p>The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan said that Ann Arbor Public Schools' decision to charge students $100 per semester to take a seventh hour class is illegal, because it violates the State Constitution.</p><p>The ACLU's <a href="http://www.aclumich.org/issues/education/2013-06/1843" target="_blank">press release</a> cited the Michigan Constitution, which&nbsp; says that "the Legislature shall maintain and support a system of free public elementary and secondary schools as defined by law."</p><p>It continued:</p><blockquote><p>In <em>Bond v Ann Arbor School District</em>, the Michigan Supreme Court held that the guarantee of free public education extends to any school district activity that is considered a "necessary element of any school's activity" or an "integral fundamental part of the elementary and secondary education."</p><p></p></blockquote><p> Fri, 14 Jun 2013 20:17:20 +0000 Michigan Radio Newsroom 13063 at http://michiganradio.org Michigan ACLU declares Ann Arbor Public Schools' decision 'unconstitutional' Blacks more than 3 times as likely as whites to be arrested for pot possession http://michiganradio.org/post/blacks-more-3-times-likely-whites-be-arrested-pot-possession <p><a href="http://www.aclumich.org/sites/default/files/Michigan_TheWaronMarijuana.pdf">Blacks are 3.3 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession in Michigan, </a>according to a new report from the American Civil Liberties Union.</p><p>The study shows Michigan’s racial discrepancy is close to the national average, despite the fact that blacks and whites use marijuana at roughly equal rates.</p> Wed, 05 Jun 2013 01:58:39 +0000 Sarah Cwiek 12883 at http://michiganradio.org Blacks more than 3 times as likely as whites to be arrested for pot possession ACLU and Republican Congressman to talk drones in America and indefinite detention http://michiganradio.org/post/aclu-and-republican-congressman-talk-drones-america-and-indefinite-detention <p>Congressman Justin Amash (R-Grand Rapids) and the American Civil Liberties Union are teaming up to talk about national security.</p><p>Amash is more libertarian than many Republicans. While he and the ACLU don’t see eye to eye on everything, ACLU of Michigan Deputy Director Mary Bejian called Amash “one of the ACLU’s strongest allies in congress on these important national security issues.”</p> Mon, 25 Mar 2013 10:00:00 +0000 Lindsey Smith 11830 at http://michiganradio.org ACLU and Republican Congressman to talk drones in America and indefinite detention The ACLU wants to know what some Michigan law enforcement agencies are doing with military equipment http://michiganradio.org/post/aclu-wants-know-what-some-michigan-law-enforcement-agencies-are-doing-military-equipment <p>The American Civil Liberties Union is asking police departments in Michigan for information about their use of military-style weapons and tactics.</p><p></p><p>The ACLU sent public records requests this week to police departments in Detroit, Flint and Dearborn, as well as the Michigan State Police. &nbsp;&nbsp;Similar requests were sent to cities in 22 other states.</p><p></p> Wed, 06 Mar 2013 21:56:31 +0000 Steve Carmody 11557 at http://michiganradio.org The ACLU wants to know what some Michigan law enforcement agencies are doing with military equipment ACLU says Michigan law enforcement agencies need a uniform policy on the use of tasers http://michiganradio.org/post/aclu-says-michigan-law-enforcement-agencies-need-uniform-policy-use-tasers <p>The American Civil Liberties Union is raising questions about how Michigan police officers and sheriff’s deputies use tasers.</p><p></p><p>Tasers have become an important tool for law enforcement agencies across Michigan. &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;The devices are used to incapacitate individuals with a high voltage electric shock.</p><p></p><p>But the ACLU says there is not a uniform policy among Michigan law enforcement agencies for when to use a taser.</p><p></p> Thu, 21 Feb 2013 21:18:58 +0000 Steve Carmody 11357 at http://michiganradio.org ACLU says Michigan law enforcement agencies need a uniform policy on the use of tasers