Citizenship Checkbox Ordered off the November Ballot Application

Affiliate: ACLU of Michigan
October 5, 2012 6:49 pm

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Federal judge issues preliminary injunction

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DETROIT – In a ruling from the bench, a federal judge issued an injunction today against Secretary of State Ruth Johnson’s controversial “citizenship checkbox.” The ruling comes after a day of testimony and arguments and will be followed by a written decision on Tuesday. A voting rights coalition brought the lawsuit requesting Judge Paul D. Borman strike down the checkbox as unconstitutional and a violation of federal and state law.

In his ruling from the bench, Judge Borman stated that the checkbox “will create chaos” and cause “irreparable injury to the voting process.”

The coalition successfully argued that the erratic and inconsistent implementation of the checkbox would violate the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection Clause, which requires voting rules and regulations to apply uniformly across the state. 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.

The following can be attributed to Dan Korobkin, ACLU of Michigan staff attorney:

“Today’s decision is a clear victory for Michigan voters and the cause of voting rights across the country. There is no question that, without the court’s intervention, the chaos that persisted during the August primary election will be replayed on a greater scale during the November general election. We are encouraged by the decision and hope to work with the Secretary of State on initiatives that will truly ensure that voting is convenient and open to every eligible voter in our state.”

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