Anti-affirmative action measures in Colorado and Michigan were dealt blows in the past several days. In Michigan, affirmative action opponents have been working to garner enough signatures on a petition for a ballot initiative in November’s elections amending the state constitution to ban consideration of race in public employment or education. However, Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Paula J. M. Manderfield ruled that state officials erred in approving the wording on the anti-affirmative action petitions, the New York Times reports. She ordered the state to rescind its approval of the petitions, which violate the state’s amendment process by not fully informing voters of the effect of the initiative.
This decision could defeat or at least slow down the anti-affirmative action petition drive, which has a deadline of July 6 to add the measure to the state ballot for the November elections. Affirmative action opponents, led by Ward Connerly and Jennifer Gratz, a plaintiff in the recent US Supreme Court case on affirmative action, vow to appeal the decision and continue collecting signatures.
Meanwhile, the Colorado Senate on Friday defeated legislation that would have banned affirmative action programs in public hiring, contracting, and public college and university admissions. The final vote on the misleadingly named “Colorado Civil Rights Act” was 18-17. “Defeat of the Connerly-inspired measure … defends affirmative action … and takes a stand against divisive attacks on civil rights in our state. This was a vote for equality and opportunity,” said Bill Vandenberg of the Colorado Progressive Coalition and spokesperson for Colorado Unity, according to the Leadership Council on Civil Rights.
10/30/2014 Medication Abortion Access Threatened by Oklahoma Court Ruling - An Oklahoma state district court judge has refused to block a state law restricting medication abortion, clearing the way for the law to go into affect on November 1.
The Oklahoma Coalition for Reproductive Justice, together with a local abortion clinic in Tulsa, challenged HB 2684 in September, arguing that the law was an unconstitutional restriction on non-surgical abortion in the earliest weeks of pregnancy. . . .
10/30/2014 UPS Switches Pregnant Worker Policy Ahead of Supreme Court Case - The United Parcel Service (UPS) is changing its policy on light duty assignments for pregnant workers, even though the company will stand by its refusal to extend accommodations to a former employee in an upcoming Supreme Court case.
UPS announced on Monday in a memo to employees, and in a brief filed with the US Supreme Court, that the company will begin offering temporary, light-duty positions to pregnant workers on January 1, 2015. . . .
10/30/2014 North Dakota Medical Students Speak Out Against Measure 1 - Medical students at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences are asking North Dakotans to vote no on Measure 1, a personhood measure on the state ballot this fall.
The students issued published a letter in the Grand Forks Herald stating that they opposed Measure 1 in part because they are against "the government's taking control of the personal health care decisions of its citizens." Nearly 60 UND School of Medicine students signed the letter, citing concerns over the "very broad and ambiguous language" used in the proposed amendment, which has no regard for serious and life-threatening medical situations such as ectopic pregnancies.
Measure 1 would change the North Dakota state constitution to create an "inalienable right to life" for humans "at any stage of development" - including the moment of fertilization and conception. . . .