Civil Rights

Wee hours U.S. Senate drama: GOP colleagues on the floor battle Tuberville blockade

BY: - November 16, 2023

WASHINGTON — After a marathon day and late-night vote to avert a Thanksgiving government shutdown, four U.S. Senate Republicans held the floor until the wee hours Thursday, urging their Alabama colleague to lift his months-long objections to hundreds of U.S. military nominations. Sens. Dan Sullivan of Alaska, Todd Young of Indiana, Joni Ernst of Iowa […]

Dept. of Civil Rights issues discriminatory charge to Traverse City salon for anti-trans posts

BY: - November 15, 2023

The Michigan Department of Civil Rights (MDCR) has issued a charge of discrimination against Studio 8 Hair Lab, the Traverse City salon that drew national attention in July for anti-trans online posts made by its owner, Christine Geiger. Geiger declared in an initial Facebook post in July that her salon would deny service to transgender […]

Black family sues Grosse Pointe man who displayed KKK flag outside their home

BY: - November 15, 2023

A Black mother and her daughter filed a racial harassment and discrimination lawsuit against their former white neighbor in Grosse Pointe Park on Tuesday after he terrorized them and displayed a Ku Klux Klan flag in a side window facing their home in 2021. The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court alleges Ryan Wilde began tormenting JeDonna […]

On this day in 1979: Anna Diggs Taylor is sworn in as a federal judge, making history

BY: - November 15, 2023

On Nov. 15, 1979, Detroit attorney Anna Diggs Taylor was sworn in as a federal court judge for Michigan’s Eastern District. The 46-year-old was the first African-American woman to serve in the post. She was appointed by Democratic President Jimmy Carter.  Attending the ceremony included United Nations Ambassador Andrew Young; Detroit Mayor Coleman A. Young; […]

Lawmakers close out year with election reforms like 16 and 17 year old voting pre-registration

BY: - November 14, 2023

As lawmakers prepare to adjourn for the year, a number of election law reforms are awaiting Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s signature.  The state House concurred Wednesday with the Senate on House Bill 4569, sponsored by state Rep. Betsy Coffia (D-Traverse City). Both bodies are controlled by Democrats. The bill allows 16 and 17 year olds to […]

Bills aim to remove requirements for name changes, codify expanded gender markers on official docs

BY: - November 14, 2023

Democratic lawmakers in Michigan introduced bills this month to remove requirements for name changes on official documents. In addition, they would affirm Attorney General Dana Nessel’s recommendation to remove the requirement for a letter of certification of “sex-reassignment surgery” to change the sex on a birth certificate and the Secretary of State Jocelyn Benson’s decision […]

Alejandro Mayorkas

Biden administration, senators divided on how to move ahead on border security

BY: - November 14, 2023

WASHINGTON — Members of Congress and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas were at odds Wednesday on how lawmakers should improve border security, as they wrestle with how to handle a White House request for emergency spending. Mayorkas, speaking to the Senate Appropriations Committee, pointed to a sweeping proposal President Joe Biden released early in his […]

Three localities voted to adopt ranked choice voting. But additional roadblocks remain.

BY: - November 12, 2023

Three cities in Michigan voted on Tuesday to move to a ranked choice voting system for local elections. But whether the proposals passed by voters will take effect remains uncertain.  Voters in East Lansing, Kalamazoo and Royal Oak approved initiatives placed on the ballot by Rank MI Vote, a nonprofit organization modeled after Voters Not […]

Legislature approves bills upping penalties for damaging places of worship, cemeteries

BY: - November 11, 2023

In order to combat threats of violence and acts of vandalism against places of worship and gathering for cultural and religious communities, the Michigan Legislature this week passed bills making “maliciously and intentionally” damaging or defacing such properties based on their association or perceived association with a certain identity a crime of “institutional desecration.” The […]

On this day in 1963: Malcolm X talks Black voting rights in Detroit 

BY: - November 10, 2023

On Nov. 10, 1963, African-American political activist and religious leader Malcolm X delivered his seminal “Message to the Grassroots” speech at King Solomon Baptist Church located on Detroit’s westside.  At the time, Malcolm X was a leading official of Nation of Islam, a Black American sect of the Muslim religion, which operated within a Black […]

State, local elections offer good news for democracy

BY: - November 10, 2023

The big news out of Tuesday’s elections was wins for Democrats and for reproductive rights in Ohio, Virginia, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. But small “d” democracy also had a good night: The result, advocates say, could be to make future elections, including the 2024 presidential contest, freer and fairer. “Americans sent a clear message that they […]

Michigan Supreme Court hears 2020 election robocall misinformation case

BY: - November 9, 2023

Two far-right operatives who made tens of thousands of calls spreading misinformation about voting across Midwestern states ahead of the 2020 presidential election, had oral arguments taken Thursday in their robocall voter intimidation criminal case in the Michigan Supreme Court. Investigators who have looked into calls made in Michigan, Ohio and New York estimate that […]