WUOMFM

ACLU

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A class-action lawsuit claiming state and local education officials are not doing enough to identify and educate Flint students exposed to lead-tainted tap water is moving forward.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow brushed aside almost all the legal motions offered by attorneys for the Michigan Department of Education, Flint Community Schools and the Genesee Intermediate School District seeking to dismiss the suit.

hundred dollar bills
Pictures of Money / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder this week signed off on legislation that expands campaign donation limits for certain types of donors. Moreover, the "Citizens United" bills let politicians solicit money on behalf of political action committees. This Week in Review, Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry try and read between the lines.

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

The ACLU is challenging Michigan’s policy of allowing faith-based adoption agencies that accept public funds to turn away same-sex couples.

The lawsuit says the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is violating its own contracts with those agencies, which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. It also says the department’s policy violates First Amendment and equal protection rights in the U.S. constitution.

Kristy Dumont and her wife say they were turned away by two Catholic adoption agencies when they tried to adopt.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the federal government from deporting more than 200 Iraqi nationals arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in June. It could also apply to another 1,200 Iraqis who have final removal orders nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued the ruling Monday, before a stay he issued earlier this month was set to expire. The new ruling will stave off deportations for three months while the legal challenge makes its way through the courts.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force / Creative Commons

In official statements, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the people it arrests are criminals who pose a threat to the safety of our local communities.

But when the public asks for more details on those arrests – who has been targeted and why – answers are hard to come by.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lafayette Street between Shelby and Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit was flooded with people supporting several Iraqi-American immigrants facing possible deportation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, arrested these immigrants in metro-Detroit more than a week ago.

Most have criminal records, but have already served time or paid their fines.

Carrie Heichle is the wife of one of the men arrested during the ICE sweeps.

She says her two sons are having a hard time without their dad.

USER: RICHEVENHOUSE / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A $2.5 million budget item has triggered a growing battle over whether Michigan can funnel state money to private and parochial schools.

It began when Michigan's Republican-controlled Legislature added that $2.5 million to the state's $16.1 billion education budget. The money was to reimburse private and parochial schools for the cost of complying with state-mandated safety measures.

church exterior
Flickr user: richevenhouse

The Michigan Court of Appeals has put a lawsuit regarding state money for private schools on hold while it decides who can be part of it.

The court will decide whether a group of Republican lawmakers and Catholic school parents can challenge Michigan’s ban on public money for private schools. And they want to join the lawsuit as defendants, not plaintiffs.

Artwork from the 45th Ann Arbor Film Festival by Brooke Keesling, the creator of "Boobie Girl" which was the Academy Award winning film that was called pornographic by Michigan legislators.
Courtesy of Christen Lien

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of a legal case that challenged free speech.

The Pincause pin was created in Ann Arbor and is being sold all over the world to support women's rights causes.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

"Little Pin. Big Goal."

That's the motto of Pincause, the brainchild of two Ann Arbor entrepreneurs.

Katy Lind and Nate Stevens have designed a pin supporting women's rights. It's a good bet those pins will be on a lot of lapels and collars at the upcoming Women's March on Washington the day after Donald Trump's Inauguration.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan officials are fighting a court order to start delivering bottled water directly to some Flint homes.

But local activists say that water is needed now, even as the case is appealed to a higher court.

Earlier this month, federal judge David Lawson ordered the state and the city of Flint to deliver cases of bottled water to homes without working water filters.  The filters are needed to screen out lead in the drinking water.

Antonin / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Like their national counterparts, organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Planned Parenthood of Michigan  have seen dramatic increases in contributions  in the week since Election Day to help them fight any efforts by the Trump administration to undermine their causes.  

"Given the very overt threats to our work and the women we serve throughout the campaign, people turned to Planned Parenthood and felt like what they could do is offer their time and their resources," said Lori Carpentier, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan.

ACLU Michigan

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint against a Flint-area Catholic hospital with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

The complaint says Ascension Health and its subsidiary, Genesys Health System, would not allow doctors to perform a medically necessary tubal ligation on a pregnant woman with a brain tumor.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal class action lawsuit to force fixes to Flint’s problem-plagued school district.

Flint’s public schools struggled even before the city’s lead-tainted tap water threatened to negatively affect the development of its students.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan will announce plans for a new class action lawsuit related to the Flint water crisis.

The ACLU’s new lawsuit will focus on the education rights of Flint area school-age children and what is needed to ensure their right to free and quality education.

DANIEL RAYZEL

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - Battle Creek city commissioners are scheduled to cast final votes Tuesday on ordinances aimed to regulating panhandling and loitering.

  The Battle Creek Enquirer reports  the proposals would outlaw remaining "idly" within 25 feet of an intersection and soliciting money from anyone waiting in line or near building entrances. Last month five commissioners voted in favor of the ordinances and four dissented.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report suggests it’s getting harder to get reproductive health care at Michigan hospitals.

A series of hospital mergers in recent years means more hospitals in Michigan are part of a Catholic health system.

Jim Renaud / Creative Commons

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit the ACLU filed in 2015 against a Roman Catholic hospital group. The lawsuit challenged the hospital group’s anti-abortion policy.

Livonia-based Trinity Health operates 86 facilities in 21 states.

The ACLU alleges pregnant women who develop complications are being discriminated against at Trinity’s hospitals because the Catholic health group won't terminate pregnancies.

Amy Hunter is the Transgender Advocacy Project Coordinator for the ACLU of Michigan.
Cynthia Hunter

“I knew at a very young age that I was actually a woman.”

Those are the words of Amy Hunter. She is the Transgender Advocacy Project coordinator for the ACLU of Michigan ,and her story is one of the many in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) community that she represents.

A Flint water protest
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Before Flint's water problems were widely known to the public, Snyder administration officials spent a lot of time emailing back and forth about the city and its water. 

We wouldn't know that if the governor hadn't voluntarily released batches of emails. That’s because he and the Legislature are exempt from Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act.

But that could change.

Wikimedia

As more of the nation’s attention is focused on police shootings, more police departments are putting body-worn cameras on their officers.

The idea is to improve relations and trust between police and the community.

But bodycams raise some sticky questions about balancing transparency and respecting privacy.

Late last week, I heard something disturbing from multiple sources.

They told me that Kary Moss, the head of the American Civil Liberties Union in Michigan, and some corporate leaders, had met with Governor Rick Snyder and asked him not to support a ballot drive to win constitutional civil protections for gay and transgender people.

When I asked her, Moss denied this. She said they had instead met with him to discuss, “the role that the business community can play in continuing to support his public commitment to this issue as well as keeping this issue in front of legislators, educating them in particular about the trans(gender) issue.”


Marissa Anderson / flickr creative commons http://michrad.io/1LXrdJM

The American Civil Liberties Union and the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan have filed a federal lawsuit against a national Catholic health system for failure to provide women suffering pregnancy complications, including miscarriages, with appropriate emergency abortions.

The ACLU claims that the Trinity Health Corporation, which is headquartered in Michigan, violates federal law by requiring its doctors to follow the Ethical and Religious Directives of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops – instead of accepted medical practice.

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

LANSING, Mich. (AP) - A national group representing the left and right of the political spectrum is concentrating on Michigan as ripe for criminal justice changes that include releasing parolees earlier and taming law enforcement's seizure of people's assets regardless of whether charges are filed.

  The U.S. Justice Action Network comprises groups such as the liberal American Civil Liberties Union and conservative FreedomWorks. The organization's executive director, Holly Harris, has been lobbying lawmakers and hopes legislation is enacted by year's end.

Michigan State Police

The right-leaning Mackinac Center hosted a forum Wednesday featuring the ACLU and Democratic state representative Jeff Irwin.

“Maybe it’s a little strange to have someone like myself appear at a Mackinac Center event,” Irwin told the crowd gathered, “but I think it actually just speaks to the power of this argument.”

A couple musicians who sued the city of Saugatuck over its entertainment policy will return to play this summer.

Today a federal judge okayed a settlement between Saugatuck and two musicians who want to play music for tips on city sidewalks. The policy at issue required buskers to get a permit, and it was only allowed in parks, not sidewalks. As part of the settlement, the city won’t enforce the rule.

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / FLICKR - HTTP://J.MP/1SPGCL0

A federal judge says 300 gay and lesbian couples are legally married, and the state has to recognize them.

They were married on March 21, 2014. That’s the only day same-sex marriages were legal in Michigan. It was after a federal judge struck down the state’s same-sex marriage ban, and before an appeals court put that decision on hold.       

Jay Kaplan, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, says the appeals court decision did not affect the marriages that were performed.

User: West Midlands Police / Wikimedia Commons

In the wake of the shooting of Michael Brown in Missouri and the death of Eric Garner in New York, there's been a national and local conversation about body-worn cameras for cops. Here in Michigan, Ann Arbor is one of the more recent communities to bring up this discussion.

The positives of these cameras are obvious: They help the public hold police officers accountable for their actions, supply evidence for potential cases of misconduct, and hopefully help to restore some of the trust in law enforcement. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union is bringing a class-action lawsuit against Muskegon County on behalf of current and former female inmates at the jail.

ACLU attorney Miriam Auckerman alleges women at the jail are forced to shower and use the toilet in front of male guards. 

gophouse.org

Later this morning a legislative oversight committee will discuss a new secretive cell phone tracking device the Oakland County Sheriff’s Department is using.

Not much is known about the device.

It can reportedly trick nearby cell phones into providing data to the police. It can be helpful in tracking people, like missing children and fugitives, but it’s not clear how much more information is collected and what the sheriff’s department does with it.

Pages