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Dustin Dwyer / Michigan Radio

A veteran Grand Rapids police captain was put on a 20-hour suspension, and will have to go through additional training, after the city’s Civilian Appeal Board found he violated department policy.

Captain Curt VanderKooi is the officer who contacted Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the case of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez, a U.S. citizen who was detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and faced possible deportation based on a tip from VanderKooi.

Benton Harbor High School
Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The ACLU of Michigan is asking Governor Gretchen Whitmer to let local leaders in Benton Harbor decide what happens in their schools.

The ACLU delivered that message in the form of a letter to the governor’s office on Friday.

lead service line held by worker
Mark Brush / Michigan Radio

Attorneys representing groups that sued to force the replacement of Flint’s lead service lines expect the job will get done this year.

Earlier this week, the city of Flint awarded contracts to replace the lead and galvanized pipes connecting homes to city water mains. It’s the final phase of a project started at the height of Flint’s water crisis. The pipes were a primary source of lead in Flint’s drinking water.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A Southgate school has made changes after the American Civil Liberties Union-Michigan warned it may be breaking the law in its student application process.

The ACLU sent a letter to the Creative Montessori Academy this week demanding that it revise its online enrollment process. The civil rights group says the school was potentially violating the constitutional rights of undocumented school-age children.

protesters carrying signs
File photo / Michigan Radio

Iraqis with standing removal orders are no longer protected from deportation if an immigration court hasn’t heard their case, the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed this week.

In 2017, Detroit U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith had made critical rulings that gave some protection to those Iraqis at risk of deportation.

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

The ACLU of Michigan claims Paw Paw Public Schools is maintaining a hostile environment that is hurting minority students. The group has filed a discrimination complaint against the district with the U.S. Department of Education.

photo courtesy of the family of Jilmar Ramos-Gomez

Jilmar Ramos-Gomez is a U.S. citizen. Born in Grand Rapids. He served in the Marines and saw combat in Afghanistan.

And last month federal immigration authorities took him into custody to face possible deportation.

Attorneys and immigration advocates in West Michigan are now demanding to know why, and how, this happened.

Mike Mozart / Flickr - http://bit.ly/1rFrzRK

A Meijer pharmacist in Petoskey refused for religious reasons to fill a customer's prescription that was medically necessary to treat her miscarriage, according to a letter of complaint filed yesterday with Meijer by the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan on behalf of the customer.

The letter says the pharmacist, Richard Kalkman, also refused to let the customer, Rachel Peterson, talk to another Meijer pharmacist or transfer her prescription to another pharmacy.

Chrystal McCadden stands next to a photo showing her son in handcuffs.
Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

The city of Flint is being sued after one of its police officers handcuffed a disabled seven-year-old boy in 2015. 

The boy was handcuffed by the officer, who was working as a school resource officer, after instructors at an after-school program called for help in dealing with what the family's attorneys call “behavioral challenges.”  

Chris Sampson / Flickr Creative Commons HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

The American Civil Liberties Union is calling on Greyhound to end its practice of routinely giving U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents permission to conduct immigration raids on its buses without warrants. It says the CBP is unlawfully interrogating, detaining and arresting passengers.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

Detroit’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement office was the target of a Christmas-themed protest on Sunday.

The protesters want hundreds of Iraqi nationals released immediately. Nearly 300 Iraqis with criminal records have been in federal detention for months, after most were swept up in mass arrests this spring.

Courtesy of the ACLU of Michigan

She wants to wrestle with the University of Michigan-Dearborn men’s team, but the National Collegiate Wrestling Association (NCWA) says its rules are clear: “Women wrestle women, men wrestle men in practice and competition. Period.”

Now wrestler Marina Goocher has the ACLU on her side in her fight to compete against the men. That includes staff attorney Bonsitu Kitaba with the ACLU of Michigan.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A class-action lawsuit claiming state and local education officials are not doing enough to identify and educate Flint students exposed to lead-tainted tap water is moving forward.

U.S. District Judge Arthur Tarnow brushed aside almost all the legal motions offered by attorneys for the Michigan Department of Education, Flint Community Schools and the Genesee Intermediate School District seeking to dismiss the suit.

hundred dollar bills
Pictures of Money / creative commons http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

Gov. Rick Snyder this week signed off on legislation that expands campaign donation limits for certain types of donors. Moreover, the "Citizens United" bills let politicians solicit money on behalf of political action committees. This Week in Review, Michigan Radio Weekend Edition host Rebecca Kruth and senior news analyst Jack Lessenberry try and read between the lines.

LGBT Pride Flag
Tyrone Warner / flickr

The ACLU is challenging Michigan’s policy of allowing faith-based adoption agencies that accept public funds to turn away same-sex couples.

The lawsuit says the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services is violating its own contracts with those agencies, which prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation. It also says the department’s policy violates First Amendment and equal protection rights in the U.S. constitution.

Kristy Dumont and her wife say they were turned away by two Catholic adoption agencies when they tried to adopt.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

A federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction blocking the federal government from deporting more than 200 Iraqi nationals arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in June. It could also apply to another 1,200 Iraqis who have final removal orders nationwide.

U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith issued the ruling Monday, before a stay he issued earlier this month was set to expire. The new ruling will stave off deportations for three months while the legal challenge makes its way through the courts.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement - or ICE - agents
U.S. Air Force

In official statements, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says the people it arrests are criminals who pose a threat to the safety of our local communities.

But when the public asks for more details on those arrests – who has been targeted and why – answers are hard to come by.

Bryce Huffman / Michigan Radio

Lafayette Street between Shelby and Washington Boulevard in downtown Detroit was flooded with people supporting several Iraqi-American immigrants facing possible deportation.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, arrested these immigrants in metro-Detroit more than a week ago.

Most have criminal records, but have already served time or paid their fines.

Carrie Heichle is the wife of one of the men arrested during the ICE sweeps.

She says her two sons are having a hard time without their dad.

USER: RICHEVENHOUSE / http://j.mp/1SPGCl0

A $2.5 million budget item has triggered a growing battle over whether Michigan can funnel state money to private and parochial schools.

It began when Michigan's Republican-controlled Legislature added that $2.5 million to the state's $16.1 billion education budget. The money was to reimburse private and parochial schools for the cost of complying with state-mandated safety measures.

church exterior
Flickr user: richevenhouse

The Michigan Court of Appeals has put a lawsuit regarding state money for private schools on hold while it decides who can be part of it.

The court will decide whether a group of Republican lawmakers and Catholic school parents can challenge Michigan’s ban on public money for private schools. And they want to join the lawsuit as defendants, not plaintiffs.

Artwork from the 45th Ann Arbor Film Festival by Brooke Keesling, the creator of "Boobie Girl" which was the Academy Award winning film that was called pornographic by Michigan legislators.
Courtesy of Christen Lien

This year marks the ten-year anniversary of a legal case that challenged free speech.

The Pincause pin was created in Ann Arbor and is being sold all over the world to support women's rights causes.
Mercedes Mejia / Michigan Radio

"Little Pin. Big Goal."

That's the motto of Pincause, the brainchild of two Ann Arbor entrepreneurs.

Katy Lind and Nate Stevens have designed a pin supporting women's rights. It's a good bet those pins will be on a lot of lapels and collars at the upcoming Women's March on Washington the day after Donald Trump's Inauguration.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

Michigan officials are fighting a court order to start delivering bottled water directly to some Flint homes.

But local activists say that water is needed now, even as the case is appealed to a higher court.

Earlier this month, federal judge David Lawson ordered the state and the city of Flint to deliver cases of bottled water to homes without working water filters.  The filters are needed to screen out lead in the drinking water.

Antonin / FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS HTTP://MICHRAD.IO/1LXRDJM

Like their national counterparts, organizations like the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and Planned Parenthood of Michigan  have seen dramatic increases in contributions  in the week since Election Day to help them fight any efforts by the Trump administration to undermine their causes.  

"Given the very overt threats to our work and the women we serve throughout the campaign, people turned to Planned Parenthood and felt like what they could do is offer their time and their resources," said Lori Carpentier, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Michigan.

ACLU Michigan

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a complaint against a Flint-area Catholic hospital with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.

The complaint says Ascension Health and its subsidiary, Genesys Health System, would not allow doctors to perform a medically necessary tubal ligation on a pregnant woman with a brain tumor.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

The American Civil Liberties Union today filed a federal class action lawsuit to force fixes to Flint’s problem-plagued school district.

Flint’s public schools struggled even before the city’s lead-tainted tap water threatened to negatively affect the development of its students.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

This week, the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan will announce plans for a new class action lawsuit related to the Flint water crisis.

The ACLU’s new lawsuit will focus on the education rights of Flint area school-age children and what is needed to ensure their right to free and quality education.

DANIEL RAYZEL

BATTLE CREEK, Mich. (AP) - Battle Creek city commissioners are scheduled to cast final votes Tuesday on ordinances aimed to regulating panhandling and loitering.

  The Battle Creek Enquirer reports  the proposals would outlaw remaining "idly" within 25 feet of an intersection and soliciting money from anyone waiting in line or near building entrances. Last month five commissioners voted in favor of the ordinances and four dissented.

steve carmody / Michigan Radio

A new report suggests it’s getting harder to get reproductive health care at Michigan hospitals.

A series of hospital mergers in recent years means more hospitals in Michigan are part of a Catholic health system.

Jim Renaud / Creative Commons

A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit the ACLU filed in 2015 against a Roman Catholic hospital group. The lawsuit challenged the hospital group’s anti-abortion policy.

Livonia-based Trinity Health operates 86 facilities in 21 states.

The ACLU alleges pregnant women who develop complications are being discriminated against at Trinity’s hospitals because the Catholic health group won't terminate pregnancies.

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