Standing room only 

The court fight against the proposed Michigan Civil Rights Initiative, which seeks a constitutional ban on the state's affirmative action programs, has grown more crowded.

Last Friday, the ACLU of Michigan filed an amicus brief in the case now before the state Supreme Court. The Detroit Urban League, the Arab Community Center for Economic and Social Services, the Detroit branch of the NAACP and the National Bar Association all joined with the ACLU, which sides with the State Board of Canvassers, the defendants in the case.

In December 2005, Democrats on the board blocked efforts to put the measure on the November 2006 ballot. Initiative backers sued, and the Michigan Court of Appeals subsequently ordered the canvassers to place the MCRI's measure before voters this fall. Citing allegations of fraud surrounding the MCRI petition campaign, the ACLU's brief asks that the supremes reverse the appellate court's decision.

Kary Moss, executive director for the ACLU of Michigan, says her organization decided to join the fray after hearing Michigan residents say they were duped into signing the petitions. The residents, who testified at public hearings conducted by the Michigan Department of Civil Rights Commission over the past two months, said signature gatherers told them their petitions were "for civil rights" or "for affirmative action."

"We were particularly struck by the number of people who stepped forward" at the hearings, Moss told News Hits.

Harold Core, spokesman for the Civil Rights Commission, says that more than 200 people offered sworn testimony and filed affidavits at the two hearings. This number doesn't reflect the testimony that continues to reach his office, he says, though he hasn't had a chance to count those.

Send comments to

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Detroit Metro Times. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Detroit Metro Times, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at

Support Local Journalism.
Join the Detroit Metro Times Press Club

Local journalism is information. Information is power. And we believe everyone deserves access to accurate independent coverage of their community and state. Our readers helped us continue this coverage in 2020, and we are so grateful for the support.

Help us keep this coverage going in 2021. Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing membership pledge, your support goes to local-based reporting from our small but mighty team.

Join the Metro Times Press Club for as little as $5 a month.

Read the Digital Print Issue

December 1, 2021

View more issues


Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Best Things to Do In Detroit

© 2021 Detroit Metro Times - Contact Us

Website powered by Foundation