Blog of Rights

Michael J.

Michael J. Steinberg has served as the Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan since 1997 and is responsible for overseeing all litigation taken on by the ACLU throughout the state. Steinberg earned a B.A. with honors from Wesleyan University in 1983 and is a 1989 cum laude graduate of Wayne State University Law School. Upon graduation, he clerked for then Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Marilyn Kelly (now a Michigan Supreme Court Justice). He then established his own private practice in Ann Arbor where he specialized in civil rights litigation and civil and criminal appeals. Among his many private cases, Steinberg successfully challenged the Ann Arbor Police Department’s practice of coercing African American men into giving blood for DNA testing during the Ann Arbor serial rapist investigation.


Since joining the staff of the ACLU, Steinberg has worked on numerous high impact, high profile cases on a wide range of civil liberties issues including: freedom of speech and expression, post 9-11 issues, religious freedom, racial justice, LGBT rights, police misconduct, women’s rights, reproductive freedom, voting rights, right to counsel and prisoner rights. Steinberg is a former high school teacher and coach, a former President of the Ann Arbor Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and a founding board member of Michigan Peace Action (formerly Michigan SANE/Freeze). He has been selected by Harvard Law School as a public interest fellow for the 2007-08 academic year.

Religion Doesn’t Justify Discrimination: ACLU Files Brief in Third Contraception Rule Challenge

Religion Doesn’t Justify Discrimination: ACLU Files Brief in Third Contraception Rule Challenge

By Brigitte Amiri, ACLU Reproductive Freedom Project & Sarah Lipton-Lubet, ACLU Washington Legislative Office & Michael J. Steinberg, Legal Director, ACLU of Michigan & Sarah Mehta, Researcher, ACLU Human Rights Program at 12:33pm
Another private company – this one sells lawn and snow removal equipment in Michigan – is challenging the federal rule that requires employers to provide insurance coverage for contraception without a co-pay. As we’ve written before, these cases are meritless and harken back to a time that we should not repeat. For example, in 1966, the Piggie Park restaurant in South Carolina refused to serve African-Americans because integration was against the owners’ religious beliefs. The same argument was used to try to get around equal pay and labor protections. The courts did not allow religion to justify discrimination then, and they should not do so now.  
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