Thursday, January 31, 2013

ACLU and Coalition Files Lawsuit Against Right to Work

AS REPORTED BY MIRS News, January 31st, 2013

“The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and a coalition of labor unions is asking a judge to strike down Michigan's landmark Right to Work law.

According to a press release, the premise of the suit is that the law was enacted "while the public was locked out of the Capitol in violation of the Open Meetings Act, the First Amendment and the Michigan Constitution."

"By allowing state police to block citizens from entering the Capitol, Lansing politicians not only violated the basic American principles of open and transparent government, they also violated specific state and federal laws designed to protect the rights of citizens," Michigan Education Association (MEA) President Steven COOK said in the press release. "We're confident the courts will agree that the Legislature's actions on the afternoon of Dec. 6 constituted a clear violation of the Open Meetings Act and should be invalidated."

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of Steve Cook, Rick TRAINOR {MEA President and Secretary/Treasurer}, Sen. Rebekah WARREN (D-Ann Arbor), Rep. Rashida TLAIB (D-Detroit), Rep. Brandon DILLON (D-Grand Rapids), the MEA, Michigan State AFL-CIO, the Michigan Building & Construction Trades Council, Change to Win and Bonnie BACQUEROUX, an instructor at Michigan State University School of Journalism and the co-founder of Lansing Online News

According to the press release, the lawsuit was originally filed on Dec. 6, 2012 in order to reopen the Capitol doors. Today, however, attorneys filed an amended complaint seeking to invalidate the law. The case is currently before Ingham County Judge William E. COLLETTE.

Asked about the new suit this morning, Rep. Mike SHIRKEY (R-Clarklake), a lead proponent of Right to Work, said there was no legislative action to close the Capitol on Dec. 6. That was strictly a Michigan State Police issue concerning safety and security, he added.

"This is just another Hail Mary pass by those who oppose giving workers the freedom to choose," Shirkey said. "And it has frankly no merit." “