Stateside: Guns and signs at the Capitol, Detroit country music; Detroit libraries nix late fees | Michigan Radio
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Stateside: Guns and signs at the Capitol, Detroit country music; Detroit libraries nix late fees

Sep 10, 2019

Today on Stateside, do federal protections against sex discrimination extend to transgender people? A federal appeals court ruled that yes, they do. We'll talk with the lawyer who's asking the U.S. Supreme Court to come to the opposite conclusion. Plus, we’ll talk about Detroit country music ahead of a new Ken Burns documentary about this "uniquely American art form.”

Listen to the full show above or find individual segments below. 

State Sen. Moss: If guns are allowed in the Capitol, signs should be too 

  • Today, gun rights supporters in Michigan are exercising their legal right to carry firearms into the state Capitol. They aren't, however, permitted to carry signs signaling their political views. Democratic State Senator Jeremy Moss represents Michigan’s 11th District. He explains why signs aren't allowed at the Capitol while guns are, and explains why he wants to change that.

Ford's credit rating downgraded to junk status 

  • Last year, Ford CEO Jim Hackett’s announcement of a restructuring plan for his company left Wall Street unimpressed. Now, Moody’s Investors Service has downgraded Ford’s credit to junk status. Daniel Howes is a business columnist for The Detroit News. He explains what Ford’s downgraded status means for the company and its suppliers, and what Ford needs to do to bounce back.

President McKinley’s assassination by Michigan-born man led to Secret Service protection

  • The course of American history was altered 118 years ago this week by two bullets fired by an Alpena-born steelworker. One of those bullets struck President William McKinley, who died eight days later. University of Michigan medical historian and PBS contributor Howard Markel breaks down the events leading up to the president’s assassination, and talks about how the assassination led to the reassignment of the Secret Service as the president's bodyguards. 

Beyond soul and the blues, Detroit has rich country music history, too

  • On September 15, Ken Burns is set to unveil his latest film, Country Music, which will air on PBS stations. Burns has said that country music is “a uniquely American art form” that’s “never been one style of music.”
  • Craig Maki is an author and musician who performs and writes about Detroit country music. Maki tells us about Detroit’s most influential country artists, and talks about the city’s unique country music scene today.
  • Craig Maki will be performing at an event tomorrow night at Pontiac’s Crofoot music venue that will serve as a preview to the upcoming Ken Burns documentary.
  • The musicians in this segment include: The Davis Sisters, Curly Dan and Wilma Ann, Jack Scott, Jimmy Work, and The York Brothers. 

Attorney in upcoming SCOTUS case says courts can’t redefine “sex” in federal discrimination laws

  • Yesterday, we heard from Aimee Stephens, a transgender woman at the center of an employment discrimination case that will go before the United States Supreme Court next month. In 2013, Stephens was fired by her employer R.G. & G.R. Harris Funeral Homes after coming out as transgender.
  • John Bursch is scheduled to argue on behalf of that funeral home before the U.S. Supreme Court. He is the vice president of appellate advocacy for the ADF, the Alliance Defending Freedom. He shares his legal perspective on this case, and tells us why it is up to Congress, and not the courts, to create protections for transgender people.

Detroit Public Library nixes late fees, following a national trend

  • The Detroit Public Library has eliminated all late fees and wiped away any prior late fees its patrons  owed. Atiim Funchess is with the Detroit Public Library. He explains why the library has decided to do away with overdue fines, and how it is letting people know about the change.

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