Capitol Lockout is Shameful and Unconstitutional

December 06, 2012

Lansing, Mich. – The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan expressed outrage today over the unconstitutional lockout at the Michigan State Capitol. Reports indicate that Michigan State Police blocked entrance to the capitol building today as hundreds of activists and protesters waited outside, including the ACLU of Michigan’s legislative director.

While the lockout took place, senators passed several extreme measures to limit insurance coverage of abortion care (SB 613 and SB 614) and allow objections to services based on religious beliefs, moral convictions, or ethical principles sincerely held by an individual or entity (SB 975). In addition, the House also snuck in a ban on abortion coverage to the legislation that converts Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan into a nonprofit mutual insurance company.

The following statement can be attributed to Kary L. Moss, ACLU of Michigan executive director:

“While the Senate passed one bad bill after another, they locked out the public, including our legislative director. The halls of our legislature are sacred. Police may keep the peace but they may not keep out dissent. We have a sacred right to peacefully assemble and petition the government, which is the cornerstone of our democracy. Pushing controversial bills through a lame duck session is a bad way to make public policy under the best of circumstances. Doing so on such important issues while the public is shut out of the debate is cause for, once again, the Michigan legislature to be a national embarrassment.”

Watch a video of the scene at the Capitol.

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