Civil Rights

Michigan’s newest members of Congress baptized by fire as shutdown rages

BY: - January 24, 2019

Michigan’s four new members of Congress — all Democrats — have taken their place on Capitol Hill at a pivotal moment in its history, having immediately been tasked with addressing the longest government shutdown in history. “We just flipped the House of Representatives; we’ve ushered in a lot of new voices, and that was to […]

AG to weigh in on another GOP Lame Duck law

BY: and - January 23, 2019

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel “welcomes” the opinion request from Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson that challenges the legality of the newly established law limiting ballot petition drives, Public Act 608 of 2018. “Restricting the right of Michiganders to participate in the political process is a serious subject matter,” said Nessel, a Democrat. “PA 608 […]

Secretary of State Benson names leadership team

BY: - January 23, 2019

New Democratic Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson last week announced several top members of her executive staff. Benson, the state’s top elections chief and a former dean of Wayne State University’s law school, announced in a statement that those appointments include her assistant secretary of state, top legal aides and a veteran communications executive. “These […]


Whitmer’s LGBTQ directive could face lawsuit on religious grounds

BY: - January 22, 2019

The head of the State Bar’s Religious Liberty section is seeking to file a lawsuit that would challenge Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s new executive directive barring LGBTQ discrimination, according to an email obtained by the Michigan Advance. Tracey Lee, a West Bloomfield family law and nonprofit attorney, wrote to a group of lawyers encouraging them to […]

Michigan GOP looks to hit pause on Benson gerrymandering settlement

BY: - January 22, 2019

Attorneys representing Michigan GOP lawmakers are seeking to delay a pending settlement agreement in a lawsuit alleging Republican gerrymandering in several of the state’s congressional and legislative districts. In a role reversal from last year’s Lame Duck legislative session, now it’s Republicans accusing Democrats of a “power grab.” On Tuesday morning, lawyers for Republicans in League […]


Susan J. Demas: John Engler, living embodiment of toxic masculinity

BY: - January 22, 2019

Nobody expected John Engler to go gently into that good night. And he didn’t. In an 11-page screed dripping with bitterness and a twinge of self-pity, Michigan State University’s interim president essentially told the board last week: “You can’t fire me; I quit.” The GOP former three-term governor — who has remained a larger-than-life figure […]

Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey

Shirkey talks divided government, touts Medicaid work rules

BY: - January 21, 2019

On Jan. 1, state Sen. Mike Shirkey became the most powerful Republican in the Michigan Legislature. As the new Senate majority leader, the Clarklake businessman will now lead the GOP, along with the new House Speaker Lee Chatfield (R-Levering), through a time of divided government following Democrats’ key statewide office wins. The election of Gov. […]

Benson reflects on legacies of Richard Austin and MLK

BY: - January 21, 2019

Prior to being elected secretary of state last year, Jocelyn Benson had a long career dedicated to both civil right and voting rights. A former intern and researcher with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Benson has served on the board of the organization dedicated to tracking extremist groups and “fighting hate and bigotry and to […]

Photo gallery: Scenes from the Women’s March

BY: - January 20, 2019

Women’s March events were held over the weekend for the third straight year in Michigan, including Grand Rapids, Detroit, East Lansing, Saugatuck/Douglas and Holland. Those at the Grand Rapids event had a scare when a car drove into the crowd, FOX-17 TV reported. Advance reporter Ken Coleman was at the snowy Detroit rally on Saturday and […]

Photo gallery: MSU after John Engler

BY: - January 20, 2019

It was a snowy Thursday morning when the Michigan State University Board of Trustees accepted the resignation of interim President John Engler after a series of missteps in handling the Dr. Larry Nassar sexual abuse scandal. The board also hired his replacement, MSU administer Satish Udpa. Reporter Michael Gerstein spent the day on MSU’s campus. […]

Women’s March draws more than 1,000 in Detroit despite controversy

BY: - January 19, 2019

More than 1,000 people braved snowy conditions and attended today Women’s March at Detroit’s Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. “This freedom that we have is not free. It was fought for. It was cried over. It was prayed for by someone for you. The cost of that freedom is this movement and […]

Gerrymandering suit settlement could spark political showdown for 2020

BY: - January 19, 2019

Voters may have believed they settled the issue of how to draw fairer legislative and congressional districts in Michigan when they voted for Proposal 2 on Nov. 6. But a new front in the redistricting fight could open up before the new Independent Citizens Redistricting Commission (ICRC) is seated. And it could mean new maps […]