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Posted on Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 5:30 p.m.

Sen. Rebekah Warren joins ACLU in lawsuit against Michigan's new right-to-work law

By Ryan J. Stanton

State Sen. Rebekah Warren, D-Ann Arbor, joined the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan and others on Thursday in a lawsuit that aims to halt Michigan's new right-to-work law.

The lawsuit notes the doors to the state Capitol were locked to keep members of the public from entering while the legislation was being debated on Dec. 6. They believe that was in violation of the Open Meetings Act, the First Amendment and the Michigan Constitution.


Rebekah Warren

"Whether you agree with right-to-work legislation or not, we can all agree that the state Capitol building belongs to the people of Michigan," Warren said in a statement. "Transparency in government is essential if we are to serve the public properly. Locking constituents out of the process is not only unjust, it's illegal."

State police closed down the Capitol temporarily while the legislation was being debated, citing safety concerns. Warren and the ACLU claim the public, including some journalists, were locked out for hours.

The Detroit Free Press reported on Thursday that Republicans have called the lawsuit a desperate act of people unwilling to give workers more freedom, and Gov. Rick Snyder has asked the Michigan Supreme Court to rule directly on the constitutionality of the law.

The law, which takes effect March 27, makes it illegal to require financial support of a union as a condition of employment.

According to a news release from the ACLU, the lawsuit is being brought on behalf of Warren; Bonnie Bucqueroux, an instructor at Michigan State University's School of Journalism; Steve Cook and Rick Trainor; state Reps. Rashida Tlaib and Brandon Dillon; the Michigan Education Association; Michigan State AFL-CIO; Michigan Building & Construction Trades Council; and Change to Win.

"The Open Meetings Act provides that the laws and acts of a public body may be invalidated by a court when official meetings, deliberations, or votes are held in a place that was not open and accessible to the public," the ACLU stated on Thursday. "In addition, the coalition alleges that the closure of the Capitol prevented citizens from exercising their First Amendment right to petition the government and their right under the Michigan Constitution to instruct their representatives."

The right-to-work legislation was rushed through the Legislature's lame duck session without any committee hearings or public input, causing thousands to protest outside the state Capitol as the bills were being voted on. Republicans maintain the Legislature had nothing to do with shutting down the Capitol during the right-to-work debate, though.

Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for Reach him at or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to's email newsletters.


Mike K

Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 3:11 p.m.

Right to work legislation is simply an extension of the voters overwhelming rejection of proposal 2. It is time for the left to move on and find a new base to exploit.


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 5:11 a.m.

Where can i purchase that glamour shot photo of Rebekah Warren?


Sun, Feb 3, 2013 : 3:35 a.m.

I like how the left always consider one of their riots as a "peaceful assembly".


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 8 p.m.

I don't care what Madam Warren does I gave up on her some time ago. All I can say is in regard to employment, all 50 states are in competition with each other and those recovering the best are institution things like right to work. Maintaining the "same old" does not show promise. Take a look at Illinois and its solution, a record tax hike: What I do promote however is that this law should have made a distinction between union workers and non union workers in a single workplace. A non union worker should have to negotiate pay and benefits and not be entitled to the exact same compensation and protection union members get, meaning lower pay and benefits. Why? Employers may be able to hire some workers at a lower rate and perhaps no health insurance. Some folks are covered by a spouse and unemployed, looking for any job and may well take a lower paying job in a union shop. And my experience as a union member in two unions has been much more negative than positive. Give me a good, fair boss and I will pass up union membership ASAP.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 2:56 a.m.

Union members acted in a violent manner that resulted in state Police locking down the Capitol for public safety reasons. Now that same union is suing for open meeting violations. I think it was a planned stratagy. Union leaders should be deposed to see if they planned the violence knowing the Capitol would be locked down just so they could sue to block the legislation. These union folks only believe in "democracy" when it lines their own pockets. Warren is bought and paid for with union influence and the big money they use to buy her lunches.


Mon, Feb 4, 2013 : 4:41 a.m.

It's what took place in the news coverage.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 8:02 p.m.

Is that what happened here? I don't see it in the story...


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

It is a violation no matter who locked the doors. They all work for us, and have the responsibility to obey the constitution, and uphold laws even if they disagree. Laws and actions of the agents to enforce law, do not have the right to engage their ideological significances. As far as I am concerned all legislation that took place behind locked doors is to be null and void. This is our stuff here, and no one has a right to just change or ignore the laws as they see fit, and this action makes it look like they were doing something illegal anyway. Our government, our laws, our way of life, hangs in the balance if we just sit back and allow lock out sessions. It sounds sneaky, and only snakes hide under rocks.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 4:39 p.m.

Joe, According to one poster who was at the rally said there were about 3,000 people inside the building. The Chief State Police Inspector said they had to lock the door because it was at capacity. There are building codes (laws) they have to abide by. Are you advocating for overcapacity resulting in injuries and possible death?

Superior Twp voter

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 7 p.m.

ACLU = American Coalition of Leftist Unification. An extension of the DNC and should be declared a PAC. Warren fits right in there.

harry b

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 5:39 p.m.

Who is this old man?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 5:19 p.m.

Frankly, I think this individual needs to return to the public life. Folks have a right to chose rather they wish to be in an union or not. What with the unions using more and more of their funding for political campaigning instead of for the welfare of their workers -- it is a no brainer.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:45 p.m.

How many people were convicted of violent acts at these protests? Convictions for destruction of property? Surely if these protests were that violent there must be court records to show this.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 4:11 p.m.

Actually, there were 8 arrests and charges of felonies. And people were maced. All according to CNN, but let's keep ignoring these facts. After the destruction of property, Mounted Police showed up to restore order. The police were trying to maintain the peace. The victimes chose not to press charges. However, can you imagine if the Mounted Police tried to make an arrest of those who destroyed property, being outnumbered in such a hostile crows?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:25 p.m.

You're confusing the lack of arrests as a sign of innocent actions. It would have created a riot had the state police ventured into the crowd to arrest the people. Further, they were too far from the actions to be able to do anything. Why hasn't the "law abiding and peaceful union" turned over the idiots who committed these actions as a point of showing adhereance to the law and self-policing their image? Oh, jail overcrowding, we could have to construct 3 new jails to house them, but at least they would be built with union peopleop

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:41 p.m.

I've been a card carrying member of the ACLU for years and applaud their actions here. But Rebekah Warren is more about press releases and photo ops than pushing for Democratic Party values and accomplishments. Her 'most liberal member of the Michigan Senate' is a nice bullet point on her resume but her sitting out the 2010 election for Governor and not even giving lip service to the Democratic candidate, supporting the RTA vote and the political interests of her County Commissioner spouse rather than the interests of AATA and Ann Arbor taxpayers and showing up for photo ops with the Governor as all clear indications she talks a good game and knows how to garner good press, but has been ineffective and invisible when it comes to looking out for votes of her district. This press release is more of the same.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:10 p.m.

Does anybody else remember when flip flopping was a bad thing? The people that don't want unions and hate the government called out union cops to protect government agents. This cost the taxpayers almost $900,00, and the low tax, less government people cheer it on. The people that will rise up in arms if the government "comes for them" called out the government to protect them, yet cannot understand why anybody would protest these new laws. The people that whine about Obama's "dictatorship" cheer late night legislation that has riders attached so that the new law CANNOT be voted on by The People. The people that whine about freeloaders and takers want laws that allow freeloaders. The people that tell us not to rely on cops to protect us called out the cops. The people that talk all tough about "protecting themselves" are afraid of pen knives and box cutters. They use heavily edited footage to bolster their case, producing not one conviction for a violent act. They want Right to Work Laws, but will go into uproar mode if anybody actually suggests that people have a right to work, that would be Marxism. Core values are not what they used to be.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 4:05 p.m.

Again, please provide the video you speak of. You are good at putting words in quotations, but it doesn't make your point. No one was arrested in that incident because the victim declined to press charges. However, people were arrested and charged with felonies, while others forced police to use mace on them. All according to CNN. But keep believing that there were no violence, and no one was arrested.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 8:41 p.m.

"Unfortunately for Mr. Crowder, a look at the video broadcast on the Sean Hannity show appears to show quite clearly that he left out an important section of the footage when he put together his edit. A section of the Fox News broadcast preserved by the Web site Mediaite shows that Mr. Hannity's producers at Fox News started the clip five seconds earlier than Mr. Crowder did." What happened before the alleged attack? Why was no one arrested at the scene?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 5:47 p.m.

Clownfish, Please provide the "heavily edited footage" you speak of. In case you missed all the articles: Police offers were forced to use mace, and 8 people were arrested and charged with felonies. "Authorities arrested eight people and locked down the building," according to CNN. I am sure you will accept CNN as a "major" news organization, even with their left leaning views.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

I agree with several comments on the ACLU getting involved, so much for civil liberty and the individual mandate to join a union. Where were they on the individual mandate on Obamacare. Also, since a lot of people who came to this rally were from other states, what gives them the right to protest in our state capitol? They didn't elect any representatives, they don't pay taxes here, they can't claim that they have a right to be in the capitol because they paid for it, and the laws being voted on won't apply to them. The capitol was full, it wasn't feasible to allow any more people into it from outside, and what were the police supposed to do at the door, check ID's to allow only Michigan citizens in? Oh, wait, asking for ID's also is against the liberal union policies, except when they require an ID to vote in union elections. Yup, it's that all-about-me-I'm-entitled-to-it-but-not-you mindset.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 12:53 a.m.

laws are laws, and I basically don't care what they were voting on, just that they were in violation of our constitution, and all laws that were voted on during that time have to be null and void. If the legislation is so great that they feel the need to lock the doors, that bill or bills should have gone up for a vote of the people.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:18 p.m.

So let's see if I have this straight: I can't go see a movie I want becaue the theater is full, AND TH FIRE CODE PREVENTS OVERCROWDING FOR THE SAFETY OF THE PATRONS, just like buses, trains, elevators, etc. If you you looked at the pictures of the capitol, you can clearly understand that this isn't about an open meeting violation, it' about how many people were outside trying to get into an already packed statehouse. They had to stop people coming in for THEIR safety, there simply wasn't enough room for all of them. If you don't think that is a problem, think about the fire in the nightclub where over 220 people died, most from being trampled.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:34 p.m.

Pat, How dare you inject logic into this debate!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:13 p.m.

so they closed it down due to the thugs making threats that were against what the PEOPLE want and then they are suing because they shut things down for safety beacuse of the thugs making threats. liberal's are so messed up unions have had too much power for too long and made union bosses a lot of money we FINALLY got a governor with some balls to fight back against these thugs.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:58 p.m.

Can you cite evidence of these threats? Would you favor putting this issue on a ballot instead of placing a non-relayed spending rule that PROHIBITS the "PEOPLE" from voting on it into the law? Do you speak for all PEOPLE in the state?

Mackinac Straits

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:08 p.m.

Would have thought the ALCU and my elected representative would be defending my personal liberty, not trying to hand it back to the unions and its sponsored politicians. Oh, wait, I forgot, Warren is my rep. Never mind.

Alan Goldsmith

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 11:53 a.m.

Nice that Ms. Warren can take time out from her busy schedule of vacationing with Republican contributors and selling out the local control transportation interests of Washtenaw County with her votes for Rick Snyder's regional transportation authority to add her name to this 'public access to buildings' lawsuit. Wow, profiles in courage there. "Whether you agree with right-to-work legislation or not...". Gee Rebekah, you have been quiet as a mouse on this issue. When can we expect you to be on the front line of this issue and not just typing press releases?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:42 p.m.

Maybe Mrs. Warren should run for govenor in 2014. She could undo all this mess that Snyder made.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 11:38 a.m.

Ms. Warren is in favor of a womens right to choose. Unless it's the choice to join a union. Then she's anti-choice.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 11:14 a.m.

This is a baseless lawsuit, smacks of sour grapes, and is a direct assault on our democratic process. Folks, I was in the gallery, it was packed. The doors were locked to prevent the union thugs from storming the chamber. Come on Ryan, do your homework before inserting keyboard in mouth!

Steven Taylor

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:47 a.m.

Why is it, that the liberals in this state are so against workers CHOICE. I thought liberals were the champions of choice...

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:07 p.m.

" If you find it so reprehensible to work where there is a union, why on Earth would you apply where there is a union?" We used to say, "if you don't like working in smoky restaurants, why would apply for a job at one?" but we were told that was bad logic and the law was passed anyway. Here's your karma. Chew it well.

Earl Johnston

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 7:10 a.m.

Steven, anyone now has a choice. If 17% of the jobs in Michigan are union that means 83 out of every hundred jobs are non union. You have a better than 4:1 ratio of non union to union jobs. If you find it so reprehensible to work where there is a union, why on Earth would you apply where there is a union? Then there is the free rider or free loader aspect, why should a worker that opts out of the union be able to access all of the benefits and services the union provides WITHOUT PAYING THEIR FAIR SHARE?

Tom Todd

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 6:20 a.m.

Wow we have a lot of rich people in Michigan who hate the middle class


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:42 a.m.

Bzzzt sour grapes. If people want to waste their money on these lawsuits, by all means.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:41 a.m.

why am i not surprised


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:37 a.m.

It was a weird process. No committee hearings. Locking out the public. Lame duck Legislature. But the suit probably won't go anywhere. If it's in state court, the Mich. Sup. Ct. will have a 5-2 Republican majority after Gov. Snyder's next appointment. And federal courts increasingly don't like to get involved in Legislative proceedings. The suit may have the benefit of establishing when politicians can meet in secret and when they can't.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

Kinda like ObamaCare, the majority did not want it, but so what.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 8:07 p.m.

Earl, 26 states sued over Obamacare, that is more than half the nation. Frankly if I were President and that many states sued over one of my policies, I would be very embarrassed. I think each state should be able to opt in or opt out, not forced to comply with a program they do not want.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:43 p.m.

Sorry, Obamacare isn't through yet. While SCOTUS ruled on the individual mandate (odd that the ACLU didn't challenge personal liberties on that), the religious challenges have not been argued on. Several cases have had federal judges already issue injunctions against the fed for violating religious freedoms. One of them in particular was Liberty University. They lost in a circuit court, and appealed to the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals who refused to hear the case ruling it didn't have merit. Well, on Monday, the Supreme Court ordered the 4th Circuit to hear the case. Oh, Obamacare is not done by a longshot, and before you reply with "it's signed into law" you can't override an Amendment with a law, you can only do that with an Amendment. But then again, Obama is notorious for following the Constitution, NOT!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:40 p.m.

@Walker, the majority DID want Obamacare. I really hope this law gets struck down in courts, if not, I can't wait to vote for whoever is running against Snyder in the 2014 election. It is time for him to be out of office. He has done more harm than good, and someone will have to undo this damage.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:15 p.m.

Not only did they re-elect him, they elected him the first time because he said he would do something about health insurance. What was Snyders stance on RTW when he was running for office?

Earl Johnston

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 6:56 a.m.

Walker, hate to burst your bubble....A majority RE-ELECTED Obama....kinda say that is a big thumbs up for Obamacare!

Tom Todd

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 6:18 a.m.

let's have more wars then take care of a sick person hell we don't care of our veterans!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:18 a.m.

Wow. Kind of sad. We see this played out over and over again. Let's see if I can predict the outcome: 1 - case goes to Ingham County. (Liberal left wing loon) - case goes in favor of ACLU. 2 - case is appealed. Goes to the Appelate Court (partial) (liberal loons) - 3 person panel agrees with Ingham decision. 3 - case appealed. Case goes to full blown Appelate (moderate). Case either gets affirmed for either Snyder OR ACLU. Losing side appeals. 4 - case goes to the state Supreme Court (conservative- currently 4-2 Repub,.. soon to be 5-2)) - Case is affirmed in favor of Snyder. Now the taxpayers are on the hook for thousands in attorney fees. RTW moves on and is instituted in March. This is the same crap we see all the time. A case starts out in Ingham County and ends up with the Supreme Court. A totally frivolous lawsuit filed by left wing loons. The loser is the State taxpayer who has to pay for all of this crap.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 8:09 p.m.

The only good thing about the ACLU IMHO is that it gives a place for some law students to work. Even in law school somebody has to finish at the bottom of the class.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:26 p.m.

The overtime bill for the state police to be there because of the extra union people who were bussed in from Ohio (this won't even apply to them and we get stuck with the tab) is $90,000. Plus, the cost of the tent they destroyed, the hot dog cart (which a state respresentatives aid started an online campaign to get donations to replace exceeded the cost). And now this.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:27 a.m.

Aww shoot! EDIT ALERT! I meant non union jobs DO NOT compensate OR pay as well. My Bad

Tom Todd

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 6:17 a.m.

That is the Truth! folks are jealous they don't belong to a union. Unions increase wages for everyone,lots of folks want this to be Michissippi


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:08 a.m.

Get down, Girl! Yeah, Baby...and I mean that with all due respect for you as a person and a woman! Thank God somebody has some... around here :-) It isn't even as much the RTW law as it is the way it was snick thru by R. Sniper


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:02 a.m.

They will win this one unless the Courts are stacked (brought and paid for) to rendered a "different" result. Michigan's Open Michigan Act is very clear. There is no reason to keep people out of a public meeting expressing their grievances, just because certain "officials" did not care to hear what opinions might be expressed. Being at the Capitol this day, I was applauded at the downright disrespect displayed to Michigan Residents, who pay for this building and all employees salary/benefits in it, to operate. Furthermore, to see the State Police mandated to keep guard with tables, guns and non-verbal force from citizens seeking to enter chambers were this legislation was being voted upon, was distributing to say the least. This is frankly beyond the Right to Work bill -- although this piece of legislation has everything to do with this lawsuit. The bigger question is whether we have a Governmental process were people can have ADEQUATE notification and opportunity to peacefully express disagreements with potential laws and statues passed in our House and Senate chambers. There's no reason, what-so-ever, the People should be locked out, kept out, pepper sprayed and have unreasonable force used upon them for their displeasure with measures being debated in OUR State Legislator. Add the Open Meeting Act along the First Amendment "Free Speech" rights, and it would appear that this lawsuit has legs.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 3:52 p.m.

Again YpsiGirl4Ever, Since you were inside, and as well as many others, up to 3,000 according to your other post please explain how that is in violation of OMA? And are you calling state police Inspector Jean Adamczyk a liar? From CNN: "The building was locked down because its capacity had been exceeded, he said. Enough people had gotten in to fill the gallery." Quote from State Police Inspector, Jean Adamczyk.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

Wrong on ALL points... First I was in the Capitol building from 8:30 AM to 2:00 PM ET this day. The building was NOT over capacity in anyway. The State Police assisted with the regulation of traffic into and out of the building. I'm quite sure State Police Officers can count and how to regulate residents seeking to enter the building for crowd control measures. So, again the building was locked down due to Governor Rick Snyder and associated co-conspirators mandating the Capitol to be closed to keep the public. The public who ironically pay their salaries, benefits and for the operation of the building itself. Snyder and Company sole purpose for locking down the Capitol was to keep the People from expressing their displeasure against pending RTW Legislation. Violations of OMA & the 1st Amendment in this case is CLEAR and the ACLU will WIN this case. Finally, being inside the Capitol and knowing the levels of traffic for nearly 5.5 hours this day, if the ACLU need a first hand account of what occurred when, I would be more than happy to help. No talking points from Right Wing Sites or Faux News necessary as on the ground reporting and analysis is always more factual!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:28 p.m.

actually, it's called a "fire code". every public/commercial building has a limit as to how many people may occupy it at any given time. For the capitol viewing area, it's 2,200. People (those who made it inside) were waiting literally hours to see the legislature in action due to the crowds. By law, they had to shut the doors. The suit will be thrown out quite quickly. Besides, the Gov has already asked the State Supreme Court to review the law as quickly as possible in preparation for the next round of state-union negotiations.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:49 p.m.

YpsiGirl4ever, You were the one that posted twice with, in essence, the same misinformation. So a reply was warranted to both of them to correct your misinformation. Again, you never answered the question, how is it a violation of the OMA if there was already people in the room and it was at capacity? Are you in favor of people getting injured or possibly killed because of overcapacity? And while you are at it, please provide your "proof" that there was no violence and it was all a set up.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:24 p.m.

This isn't about the bill itself, but about an open meetings violation. And, after the tent being torn down by protesters armed with knives and box openers (at a "peaceful" rally no less), plus the blocking of several streets outside the ones that were blocked off for them to use, the State Police had no choice but to exercise cautions and supervision-this was a very angry crowd. Plus, what about fire code and the amount of people that are in the building? If you were there, how many more people could you have safely crammed into the statehouse? There were too many outside to allow all of them in and have it be a safe environment, no, I think the courts are going to rule that it was an open meeting, but there were too many people to be allowed in that it would violate safety codes that also apply to movie theaters, bars, elevators, trains, etc.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:04 p.m.

YpsiGirl, where do you get this stuff? Comedy Channel?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 9:01 a.m.

JBK, Violations of the OMA will go before a State Circuit then Appeals Court Judge first. It's doubtful and unlikely OMA violations will ever reach Michigan's Supreme Court. Learn about the Judicial Process, then reply back with intelligence please. Mallen, Repeating talking points twice in a post, doesn't make either post true. Scroll up in the last reply post for your answer! Usually Suspect, No one was violent in the Capitol or outside of it. The "Pork on a Bun" guy Clint Tarver so-called cart attack was proven to be a set-up by the Americans for Prosperity group and APF dismantled their own tent to be knocked down. The shoving in front of the tent was started by a member of team. Being on the ground in Lansing this day leads quite a leads to quite different perspective than listening to the likes of Faux News, you know.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:30 a.m.

YpsiGirl4Ever, According to CNN, "Chants of "Shame on you" rained down from a packed Michigan state Senate gallery Thursday as the state's lame-duck GOP legislature advanced legislation giving workers the right to opt out of union membership." How did these people get in there if they were locked out? "Authorities arrested eight people and locked down the building," according to CNN. "People have a right to protest but it will be done in an orderly manner," state police Inspector Jean Adamczyk told CNN affiliate WDIV. "The building was locked down because its capacity had been exceeded, he said. Enough people had gotten in to fill the gallery." So are you suggesting to let the room fill beyond it's capacity, where people could be injured or killed? We will let the judges decide whether this was a violation of the OMA. I guess the judge(s) will look at whether or not there were people in the room, (they were at capacity). If they were at capacity, I guess that would suggest there were people in the room and there was no violation of the OMA.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:28 a.m.

"There is no reason to keep people out of a public meeting" .. unless they have already shown themselves to be violent, which they had.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:22 a.m.

Tell you what Ypsi girl - Hold your breath for a positive verdict. If and when it reaches the State Supreme Court it will die. The Repubs currently hold a 4-2 advantage and with the crook (Hathaway - Democrat) soon to be behind bars, Snyder will have a 5-2 majority. Go hang out with some of your 420 friends and perhaps you will wake up and realize that this is not utopia and RTW will move forward.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:31 a.m.

Abortion rights!, Womens rights!, Gay marriage rights!,....right to work?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:56 p.m.

PAT, I have been told for 30 years that if I don't like the conditions of my employment I am free to seek employment elsewhere. I have been told recently that people that get benefits without paying for them are free loaders. What has changed?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:57 p.m.

What right to a job does this legislation provide? If I have abortion rights, that means I have a right to an abortion. If I have womens rights, I have the right to be paid the same as a man, the right to property etc. If I have gay rights it mens I have the right to live where I choose, the right to marry whom I choose. What right to work does RTW provide? Does the State guarantee me a job? Does it guarantee that the employer cannot fire me?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:27 a.m.

Hope you don't mind if I quote you in the future... best comment on the subject.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:29 a.m.

Whether you are for or against "right to work" laws are in place to be followed. Abide!


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:25 a.m.

The Michigan Education Association (MEA) must be thrilled having the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) represent it and other unions trying to stop Right-to-Work in Michigan. Don't worry Sen. Warren, the Michigan Supreme Court will soon have a comfortable majority of five Republicans to only two Democrats on the bench. If someone does not want to join a union, he/she should not forced into membership. Strange, I thought most Democrats were pro-choice.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:23 p.m.

@Ypsi. Regarding the viewing areas being at "over - capacity". FYI, capacity is 2,200 people, more than that also violates state/federal laws: there are many others...


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:01 p.m.

YpsiGirl4Ever, "People have a right to protest but it will be done in an orderly manner," state police Inspector Jean Adamczyk told CNN affiliate WDIV. "The building was locked down because its capacity had been exceeded, he said. Enough people had gotten in to fill the gallery." So, I guess the State Police Inspector is lying? What does how many people outside of the building have anything to do with how many people are inside of the building when it is at capacity? But if we are to believe your numbers that 12,000 (75%) were outside of the building so that means 25% of them were inside the building or 3,000. How is that a violation of OMA? And what is considered capacity where the protesters were trying to access after the State Inspector said it was at capacity? Oh, and let's not forget the police were forced to use mace and 8 people were charged with felonies. So much for "peaceful."


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:54 p.m.

JBK, I keep seeing this canard about Obamacare. Let su look at some facts: 1: Obama ran on "fixing" the health care mess in this country Snyder said RTW was" not on his Agenda" and said it was "too divisive" 2: The congress held many, many hearings, members went on the talking head show circuit for months. Amendments were allowed and voted on. The votes were cast AFTER an election, AFTER the new members had been seated. The MI GOP allowed very little debate, the laws were passed at night, in a lame duck session 3: There was a NEED for health insurance reform in this country, millions of people were asking the government to do something. In Michigan the only outcry was from a few people. Did you see a SINGLe ad for RTW asking us to "call our senators"? Big differences.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:03 p.m.

"It was 12K protesters, 75% or so was outside of the building." Building capacities have to do with the number of people who are inside a building, not outside.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 8:51 a.m.

Mallen, Wrong on MULTIPLE points. One, the building was locked down not due to "over-capacity" in the least. It was 12K protesters, 75% or so was outside of the building. The State Police and Capitol Police keep letting people in and out of the building until they were ORDERED to lock it down by Governor Rick Snyder. Clear violation of the Open Meetings Act, period. I know you'll hate to admit when your wrong, but you're extremely wrong here. Next JBK, As for the Affordable Health Care Act, MANY, MANY meetings were held by Congressman and Senators nationwide about ACA. Representative John Dingell held a meeting I attended in Romulus in 2009 where he was almost attacked by a Tea-Party supporter who pushed his son in a wheelchair out of the way, so he could try and get to the Congressman. Another Republican lie, debunked.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:22 a.m.

YpsiGirl4Ever, According to CNN, "Chants of "Shame on you" rained down from a packed Michigan state Senate gallery Thursday as the state's lame-duck GOP legislature advanced legislation giving workers the right to opt out of union membership." How did these people get in there? And are you suggesting to let everyone in beyond capacity, only to have a catastrophe where people are injured or killed and end up with lawsuits? "Authorities arrested eight people and locked down the building," according to CNN. "People have a right to protest but it will be done in an orderly manner," state police Inspector Jean Adamczyk told CNN affiliate WDIV. "The building was locked down because its capacity had been exceeded, he said. Enough people had gotten in to fill the gallery." Gee, sounds like there was no violation of the Open Meetings Act, but we will let the judges decide, whether public safety was in play or if it was a purposeful violation of the OMA.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:46 a.m.

ken: "Strange, I thought most Democrats were pro-choice." ... uhhhh, only for the 'allowed to live'.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:21 a.m.

Ypsi girl - Gee! This kind of reminds me of ObamaCare. It was rammed down our throats WhenPelosi was asked a rather general question about the content of the bill, she replied "I have no clue, read it for yourself." Furthermore, Obama promised that all of the hearings on health care would be on CSPAN1 & 2. It never happened. It was done behind closed doors with Pelosi, Reed and Obama (the holy trinity). Perhaps you can enlighten us on what is different.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:13 a.m.

Ken, This Lawsuit is about the PROCESS that the Right-to-Work legislation was passed. Clear violations of Michigan's Open Meeting Act occurred. Governor Snyder or people working on his behalf, had no rights to order a "lockdown" of the Capitol building during its' posted public hours, to keep residents from expressing their displeasure with the Right-to-Work legislation. Frankly, this is what disturbs me about some Republicans. In order to get this law passed, it had to be done behind close doors, without committee hearings, in less than 48 hours and the People having grievances to express about this bill were "locked out" of a building that THEY PAID FOR to operate. It would be further disturbing if you don't see where this is a problem, regardless of political party affiliation. Suggested reading for you Ken is Michigan Open Meeting Act, passed into law by Republican Governor William Milliken. Here's a link for you:

Macabre Sunset

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:12 a.m.

That is the politically correct thing to do these days - if the opposition passes a law you don't like, head to court. The last thing clowns like Rebekkkah Warren will ever do is try and work with people she disagrees with.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:04 p.m.

Clownfish, What does that have to do with passing a budget? There are useless people on both sides of the aisle, but when the Senate (controlled by the democrats) haven't passed a budget in three years that is low, especially when by law they are required to do so.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:06 p.m.

clown Take the blinders off.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Pat, how about the Senate GOP that keeps putting legislative hurdles in place? Holds on nominees, threatening filibusters every week and yes, dems that act like clowns. But, we know the dems are clowns and hypcrites, the GOP is supposed to be the adults in the room, what with their mandate from God and their core values.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:17 p.m.

Clownfish: how about the Senate that has yet to pass a budget?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:47 p.m.

Have you seen the federal House of Representatives lately? Are they being politically correct? Are they clowns?

Basic Bob

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 10:33 a.m.

And that is why I think she is a poor senator. Not because I disagree with her, but because she is incapable of doing anything positive with her seat in the legislature. Maybe she can issue a Youtube video.

Jeffersonian Liberal

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:06 a.m.

This makes perfect sense, a Leftist Progressive teaming up with the ACLU trample on an individuals liberty and constitutional rights. Worried about all those Goonion political donations drying up Becky?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:46 p.m.

What constitutional rights are being violated? Would you prefer to go back to Jeffersonian principles, those of slavery and beating children when production falls?

Fresh Start

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:59 p.m.

All of us have to do two things in this country: pay tax and die. I'm pro-choice for union dues!!!


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:57 p.m.

Anyone should have a choice whether they want their money going to for Liberal atendas. Unions and ACLU doesn't like it because it means less money for them. I don't see the ACLU fighting for people who don't want it.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 8:31 p.m.

PAT, yes you can be exempted from Obamacare. I could print the list of companies that have received exemptions, but it would clog the page. Have you dropped any current health insurance as protest? You were allowed to vote last November, how did that turn out? Unions have elections, each member can run. Public sector union members can get raises, don't know where you got that tidbit. Public Police and fire unions are EXEMPT from the new RTW law. Unions still negotiate hours, working conditions, staffing, training and benefits.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:29 p.m.

Clownfish: I can't be exempted from Obamacare, even though the people who voted for it are. Members of the unions get to vote, I ask, do you need to show your union ID to vote in union elections like the pictures I've seen? And since only 13% of the Michigan workforce is unionized, and over 80% of them are teachers and government workers who legally can't strike, can't get a raise, and really can't do anything for their mandated union dues, isn't that a lot like taxation without respresentation? And, do the union bosses fit into the 1% with their elevated pay? And which tax laws are they using to keep their money? I think giving middle class workers the choice is a civil liberty, and to deny them the choice is a violation of their civil liberties.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:44 p.m.

Members of unions get to vote on where the money goes. Do you have a problem with democracies? Do you stop paying your federal taxes if the money goes to Israel or Egypt? Can I exempt myself from MI income tax if I don't like what the state GOP does with it?


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:38 p.m.

Wouldn't a civil liberty of mine be to not be forced to join a union? What a politically motivated group.

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:45 a.m.



Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:21 a.m.

Sure is. So is panhandling. Look, no one is ever "forced " to join a union. That is just basic repub BS talking point stuff. There are plenty of non union jobs out there of every description including jobs that are traditionally unionized - the problem? THEY COMPENSATE PAY AS WELL. Figure it out...


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:55 p.m.

You're in luck, you're not required. You only have to pay for the services they are legally obligated to provide you.

Michigan Reader

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:37 p.m.

"Republicans maintain the Legislature had nothing to do with shutting down the Capitol during the right-to-work debate, though." But, agents of the government, the state police, did. That may count as a violation still.


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 5:28 p.m.

YpsiGirl4Ever and Clownfish, There are many youtube videos showing the violence and threats of violence at the "peaceful" rally. There was even one showing a union member throwing something at the police. But I bet one of you, possibly both, will say he wasn't a union member and was a plant! I read the "blog" that supposedly claimed that the hotdog man was all a set up. First, there is no disputing the fact that the man was hired by Americans For Prosperity. He even said so conspiracy there. Anyone who had a coupon got a hotdog. Again, overwhelming video evidence shows union members attacking the tent (in which he was in) and destroying his property. And according to him he was called many despicable names. But YpsiGirl wants to continue to believe it was a set up. Nice to know that YpsiGirl4Ever is calling the State Police Inspector Jean Adamczyk a liar. "People have a right to protest but it will be done in an orderly manner," state police Inspector Jean Adamczyk told CNN affiliate WDIV. "The building was locked down because its capacity had been exceeded, he said. Enough people had gotten in to fill the gallery."


Sat, Feb 2, 2013 : 3:52 a.m.

What's absolutely amazing about most of this so-called "in the back dark corner" analysis of what took place in Lansing this day. Its' highly doubtful none of these individuals making fallacy based claims of "violence" in Lansing, where there. You know, like actually in attendance in Lansing that day. Ironically, I was there. So, let's run this down one last time. 1. The "Pork on a bun" hot dog attack of GOP Operative Clint Tarver was a falsehood. Google "Pork on a bun attack Michigan" and read the blog resource that told the true story of what happened with Tarver. 2. American for Prosperity group loosen their OWN tent, another operative provoked intentionally, union members who attended the protest on the Capitol grounds. 3. The Capitol building was never at a level of over-capacity, as I was there, in the building most of the day (See reply below). The State Police monitored traffic going into and out of the building the entire day. Governor Snyder demanded before the Noon hour the Capitol lock down for no reason. It took a Circuit Court Judge emergency ruling to order the building be reopened to the People. If it was a "fire hazard" situation going on as some falsely claim, why would a sane Circuit Court Judge order the building re-opened? He or she wouldn't. 4. In the end, the building was closed to stop the People from expressing their grievances against Right to Work legislation, during a open session in both legislative chambers. This is a clear violation of the Open Meeting Act and First Amendment of our United States Constitution. The ACLU is within its right to file a lawsuit on both on both of these matters and should WIN their case.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 8:36 p.m.

If I have this right, one person punching someone from the lamestream media represents the entire crowd and called for the $900,000 bill from the police unions? Did this occur inside the building? The YOUTUBE video I saw came from, there may be others out there. Breitbart has a long history of editing tape, sometimes even going so far as to produce "evidence" the exact opposite of what they claim. Nice to know that our conservative friends actually agree that safety regulations have merit and that media elites deserve government protection. Not very often they come right out ans say it.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

@Pat, please quit confusing the issue with facts.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:25 p.m.

@Clownfish: go to Youtube, you can see the unedited tape (Martin Bashir and MSNBC did not make it!) you can see the reporter being calm, and getting punched. There was nothing calm or peaceful about that rally, and to think, a lot of these people teach our kids! Box cutters, knives, destruction or private property. @Ypsi: 2 reason I can think of as to why they had to lock the doors, 1. There were people from other states there who are not Michigan citizens, therefore they are not entitled (whoops, that's a bad phrase for Democrats, I better wash my mouth out whith soap) to be in there, and 2. Safey reasons, and in fire code violations and the number of people in the building, just like a movie theater or an elevator. Where on Earth do you think they were going to put all the people outside when the inside was already full? Is it your solution, and that of the ACLU and Rep. Warren that all should be allowed in, so we should build a bigger capitol building to accomodate the armed thugs and bullies bussed in?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:40 p.m.

I would like to see some UNEDITED tape of this alleged "violence". Anybody have any? SO far I know of one "struggle" in which one man was allegedly struck, we have contradictory evidence about who went first. It looks like there was less violence at the rally than at a UM football game, Eastern Basketball game or a Pioneer/Huron football game. But then, I could see the Tough Guys of the NRA being cowed by some nurses and teachers, so maybe the fear is justified.

Basic Bob

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 10:30 a.m.

@YpsiGirl, let's find a better example of a governor using force against its citizens. Kent, Ohio - May 4, 1970 Governor James Rhodes was not convicted or charged with killing 4 students, even though he ordered the Ohio National Guard onto campus against a real peaceful public protest. This is far more egregious than having the state police lock a few doors to keep protestors from disrupting the business of the state. However Governor Rhodes's action was not considered to be illegal. Your claims of force are overstated.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:09 a.m.

YpsiGirl4Ever ..."who came to peacefully express grievances against the Right to Work bill(s)." Really? So I must have imagined a union thug throwing punches at someone. I must have imagined seeing knives being taken out of union thugs pockets and them cutting ropes to a tent. I must have imagined them flipping tables over and the thugs screaming about more violence. And you say they were there peacefully? The union thugs threatened violence causing the local and state police to come out and protect innocent people.

Unusual Suspect

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:25 a.m.

Recent events - here and in Wisconsin - have shown us that pro-union people don't know the meaning of "peaceful assembly."


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 2:10 a.m.

ypsigirl: "...residents who came to peacefully express grievances..." Did you manage to keep a straight face when you typed that claim?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:35 a.m.

That statement is a lie in itself. Governor Snyder, the de facto Commander-in-Chief of our State Police by his position as Michigan's Highest Elected Official, ORDERED the State Police to take force against residents who came to peacefully express grievances against the Right to Work bill(s). Unless Governor Rick Snyder has since December 6, 2012 changed his political affiliation to the Democrat, Green, Libertarian, Constitutional, Justice or a Independent Party, he was elected as a Republican and remains so to this day. So, yes a Republican named Rick Snyder had everything to do with the State Police and State Capitol Police shutting down the Capitol Building. Residents of Michigan might have a bit more respect for these Republican officials if they would stop lying about what happened on the day this Right to Work bill was passed.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:33 p.m.

"...Locking constituents out of the process is not only unjust, it's illegal..." Though I am right to work I don't have a problem with putting the issue on a November ballot so voters can decide. I wouldn't have a problem with either outcome.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 1:35 p.m.

BERNIE, have you been locked out of any legislative meeting in which she cast a vote?


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 12:33 a.m.

As a constituent of Ms. Warren with a pro-life libertarian outlook my points of view have consistently been locked out of her grandstanding agenda. Should she file charges against herself for locking this point of view out of the process? www. l4l. org


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:54 p.m.

They can't put it on the ballot; the legislature went around that by attaching a spending provision.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 11:17 p.m.

I just the rock star photo of Ms. Warren, you know, the soft glow behind her. LOL


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 4:03 p.m.

"angelic" that wings behind her?


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

Thank you Senator Warren!!! I'm grateful to have someone like you standing up for our rights!

Snarf Oscar Boondoggle

Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:43 a.m.

no, actually, you are NOT grateful, sorry to say.


Fri, Feb 1, 2013 : 3:43 a.m.

As in your right to work?

Dog Guy

Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 10:42 p.m.

Artsy Ann Arbor opted for theatre over representation.


Thu, Jan 31, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

If Rebekah Warren is against Right to Work, then it must be a good thing for the people of Michigan.