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.
7/27/2015 Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Blocked Efforts to Defund Planned Parenthood - An attempt in the Senate to defund Planned Parenthood by Mike Lee (R-UT) was blocked this weekend by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY). Lee tried to attach the elimination of federal funds for Planned Parenthood to a vote for highway legislation, a move which was rejected by McConnell as out of order.
Republican legislators have redoubled their efforts to block funding for Planned Parenthood since the release of two heavily edited clandestine videos of different PPFA employees taken without their knowledge. . . .
7/24/2015 Katherine Spillar Urges Cleveland to Dramatically Increase Hiring of Women Police to Mitigate Police Violence - In a well-received speech at the City Club of Cleveland today, Katherine Spillar, Executive Director of the Feminist Majority Foundation urged Cleveland city officials to dramatically increase the hiring of women police officers as a way to decrease police brutality incidents.
Following a number of high profile police killings in Cleveland of African Americans, and an eight-month investigation by the US Attorney's office of the Northern District of Ohio, the City of Cleveland has now entered into a Consent Decree that requires numerous reforms in how the city oversees and investigates police operations, including training in use of force.
"Among the most important reforms mandated by the consent decree - and the most easily overlooked - are the changes the Cleveland Division of Police must make in its recruitment and hiring practices,
said Spillar. . . .