Michigan Anti-Civil Rights Initiative Language Approved
The Michigan Board of Canvassers on Friday approved language for an anti-affirmative action ballot initiative to be placed on the ballot this November. The proposed constitutional amendment would ban affirmative action for women and people of color in university admission, state hiring, and government contracting decisions. The Board in December had refused to approve the language, and was ordered to take action by January 20 by the Michigan Court of Appeals.
The major proponent of the measure, misleadingly named the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), is Ward Connerly, who engineered a similar ballot measure in California in 1996 (Proposition 209). The California measure was opposed by a broad coalition of women's rights and civil rights groups, including the Feminist Majority, the National Organization for Women, the YWCA, and the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund. A coalition called One United Michigan has been formed to fight the upcoming initiative.
The Michigan Civil Rights Commission is investigating claims of wrongdoing by MCRI in gathering signatures in order for the ballot initiative to qualify for the 2006 election. Opponents of the measure argue that many of the voters who added their signatures were misled into believing the measure was intended to protect affirmative action in the state, not eliminate it, according to the Lansing State Journal.
Media Resources: Lansing State Journal 1/21/06; Macomb Daily News 1/21/06; Detroit Free Press 1/20/06
8/31/2015 Chicago Activists Continue Hunger Strike to Save Predominately Black Public High School - Chicago residents have entered the second week of their hunger strike protesting the closure of Dyett High School, in the predominately African-American Bronzeville neighborhood located on the South Side of Chicago.
Parents and community members are calling on the Chicago Board of Education to keep Dyett - the only open-enrollment, neighborhood school in its area - open and accept a community plan to revitalize the school with a focus on science and green technology. . . .
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .