Federal Judge to Hear Arguments in Citizenship Checkbox Case Tomorrow

Affiliate: ACLU of Michigan
October 4, 2012 3:18 pm

ACLU Affiliate
ACLU of Michigan
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CONTACT: (212) 549-2666; media@aclu.org

DETROIT – A federal judge will hear arguments tomorrow at 10 a.m. on a voting coalition’s request strike down Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s controversial “citizenship checkbox” as unconstitutional and a violation of federal and state law. Secretary Johnson has been ordered to appear at the hearing.

The lawsuit contends that the erratic and inconsistent implementation of the checkbox violates the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, which requires voting rules and regulations to apply uniformly across the state.

In addition, the groups argue that the checkbox is unlawful because it lacks statutory authority; was not promulgated through the required rule-making process of the Michigan Administrative Procedures Act, which requires a public notice and opportunities for public comment and a hearing; and violates the Voting Rights Act’s preclearance requirement, which requires the state to seek permission from the Justice Department or a federal court before making changes to election practices that impact voters in two Michigan townships, Buena Vista and Clyde.

The lawsuit was filed last month by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, Service Employees International Union (SEIU), Latin Americans for Social and Economic Development (LA SED), Ingham County Clerk Michael Bryanton, and registered voters from East Lansing, Shelby Township, and Buena Vista Township filed the case with support from the UAW International.

To read more about this case, go to: https://www.aclumich.org/issues/voting-rights/2012-09/1761

To read the Motion for Preliminary Injunction, go to http://www.aclumich.org/sites/default/files/Checkbox_Preliminary_Injunction2012.pdf

WHAT: Oral arguments on the voting rights coalition’s request to stop Secretary of State Ruth Johnson from enforcing the controversial “citizenship checkbox” during the general election.

WHO: Coalition attorneys will argue before Judge Paul D. Borman

WHEN: Friday, October 5, 2012 at 10 a.m.

United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan
Theodore Levin U.S. Courthouse
231 W. Lafayette Blvd., Room 740
Detroit, MI 48226

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