The Leadership Conference is working diligently to see that Tom Perez is confirmed as U.S. Secretary of Labor. Perez is an eminently qualified public servant and consensus builder who has dedicated his career to ensuring that all individuals are treated fairly and have the opportunity to succeed. He has served with integrity and distinction at the local, state and national level, compiling an outstanding record of achievement.
Court Decision Could Quash Connerly's Efforts in Michigan
Feature Story by civilrights.org staff - 3/23/2004A Michigan judge could throw out petitions currently in circulation that seek to place an anti-affirmative action initiative on the state's November 2004 ballot. Promoted by California businessman Ward Connerly, these 4,200 petitions and signatures collected thus far could be deemed invalid by the court also.
Lansing, Mich., Judge Paula Manderfield heard arguments on March 22, regarding two lawsuits filed against Connerly's "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative" petition. One of the suits filed is by Citizens for a United Michigan, a diverse coalition including the Detroit Renaissance, Michigan Catholic Conference, and Michigan chapters of the American Association of University Women, NAACP, and ACLU. The other lawsuit filed comes from the Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action By Any Means Necessary, the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus, United for Equality and Affirmative Action, and two Detroit-area AFSCME unions.
In both cases, the complaints allege that Connerly's petition does not reflect the language of the state constitution as it stands and as it would be amended. Michigan statute requires that petitions for ballot initiatives include this language on the front of the petition when proposing to amend the state's constitution.
Groups opposed to Connerly's so-called "Michigan Civil Rights Initiative" also say that the ballot's title is misleading and that it is falsely being promoted to Michigan voters. The petition language, they say, instead of enhancing civil rights, would in-fact amend existing civil rights clauses within the Michigan constitution to end affirmative action and equal opportunity.
Further, affirmative action advocates in Michigan say that, if passed, this initiative would undermine the Supreme Court's ruling in Grutter v. Bollinger and the autonomy of any public college or university in the state, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State University, and Wayne State University.