Civil Rights

House Republicans offer ‘guiding principles’ for term

BY: - February 20, 2019

Republican members of the Michigan House on Tuesday unveiled their action plan for the 2019-20 legislative term, hitting on issues they’ve stressed before. During the 12-minute, broad-strokes presentation, the 58-member majority caucus talked about: Improving infrastructure, including roads, public water systems and broadband. Protecting constitutional rights and religious freedoms. Addressing mental illness and victims of […]

On this day in 1922: Michigan’s first Black Supreme Court justice is born

BY: - February 20, 2019

Otis M. Smith, the first African-American to serve on the Michigan Supreme Court, was born on this day in Memphis, Tenn., in 1922. Smith attended Fisk University and Syracuse University. In 1950, he earned a degree from Catholic University Law School in Washington, D.C. In January 1951, he began to practice law in Flint. Five […]

A gun show

GOP lawmaker appears to compare poll taxes to gun license fees

BY: - February 19, 2019

It was a fairly routine Michigan House committee hearing until a GOP lawmaker unexpectedly raised the idea of a poll tax, which hasn’t been legal in more than a half-century. On Tuesday, Attorney General Dana Nessel was invited to appear before the House Judiciary Committee. The Democrat talked about the organization of her office and […]

Voting station

Is ranked-choice voting the next election reform for Michigan?

BY: - February 19, 2019

Another big change could be coming for elections in Michigan — if the measure can get on the ballot. In 2018, Michigan voters approved sweeping reforms to Michigan’s elections with two ballot questions. Proposal 2 created an independent redistricting commission and Proposal 3 reinstated straight-ticket voting, implemented same-day voter registration and added no-reason absentee voting. […]

Michigan joins states fighting Trump’s emergency declaration for wall

BY: - February 19, 2019

Michigan’s attorney general had some harsh words about President Donald Trump’s national emergency declaration to gain funding for a border wall. Dana Nessel called it “a manufactured crisis,” and announced on Monday that Michigan has joined 15 other states to seek an injunction against the president’s measure. “This fake emergency is a publicity stunt that will raid our federal […]

Immigrant detention company could buy private land since Whitmer nixed plan

BY: - February 19, 2019

A Virginia-based company that planned to build a private immigrant detention center in Michigan may now consider buying private property after Gov. Gretchen Whitmer halted its state land sale bid, the company’s legal counsel said. Whitmer, a Democrat, reversed a state land bank decision under GOP former Gov. Rick Snyder that would have sold the […]

Activists voice border wall dissent

BY: - February 18, 2019

Left-leaning Michigan activists met in a Lansing church basement on Monday to show their support for Presidents Day protests planned across the nation. The action was billed on social media as a protest, but ended up being a press conference where some 200 activists showed up. Many were disappointed there was no rally, said Mark […]

FOX-2’s mess over Whitmer’s dress makes international news

BY: - February 18, 2019

FOX-2 got its clicks for a story quoting random people appraising Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s appearance. The station’s management defended the move and appears to want to move on — but the national, and even international, media have other ideas. The Advance was the first to call out FOX-2’s piece featuring comments like, “I’d hit that,” […]


Susan J. Demas: It’s a new day in Michigan, boys. Try and keep up.

BY: - February 16, 2019

Just after Christmas 2011, I was sitting in a tent in Arizona’s Arrastra Mountains, enjoying the 20-degree chill and a much-needed break from covering politics 14 hours a day. Out of habit, I was scrolling through news on my Blackberry (yes, that’s what I had at the time) and stumbled on a quote from then-state Sen. […]

Whitmer halts land sale for $35M private immigrant detention center

BY: - February 16, 2019

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer is canceling a plan to sell state land to a company trying to build a private immigrant detention center in Michigan, the governor’s office told the Michigan Advance on Friday. Whitmer is using her authority to halt the sale of a former state prison in Ionia, where the Virginia-based Immigration Centers of […]

MSU acting President Udpa apologizes to Nassar survivors

BY: - February 16, 2019

Michigan State University’s new acting president, Satish Udpa, issued a statement apologizing to survivors of former MSU gymnastics Dr. Larry Nassar’s sexual assault during a Board of Trustees meeting Friday. In a statement, Udpa said he felt the need “to formally apologize and to effectively atone” for the abuse that hundreds of young girls who […]

Video: Lawmakers on gov. agenda of equal pay, auto insurance reform

BY: and - February 15, 2019

As Gov. Gretchen Whitmer ramps up to reveal her first budget next month, Republican and Democratic lawmakers, not surprisingly, are hoping to hear different things. The Advance interviewed legislators following Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s first State of the State address on Tuesday. Democrats tended to praise her for highlighting long-term problems in state government like low […]