In a blow to affirmative action supporters, the Michigan Court of Appeals ruled on Friday that petitions for a ballot initiative to end affirmative action in the state are valid. This decision overturns a lower court ruling that the petitions did not comply with election laws, and that the language used on the so-called Civil Rights Initiative misleads voters. The group has been attempting to gather enough signatures to place an initiative on the 2004 ballot that would amend the state constitution, banning policies aimed at increasing opportunities for women and people of color. Namely, the group, led by strident affirmative action opponent Ward Connerly, aims to ban affirmative action in college admissions, government hiring, and public contracting
Opponents of the ballot initiative and some supporters believe that with the delays caused by the court case, the group will not be able to collect the required 317,757 signatures needed by the July 6 deadline to get on the 2004 ballot, according to the Associated Press. In fact, earlier this month, affirmative action opponents in Michigan conceded that their intent now is to qualify for the 2006 ballot.
Affirmative action supporters intend to appeal the Court of Appeals ruling to the state Supreme Court.
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. . . .