In November 2018 the ACLU of Michigan filed a friend-of-the-court brief in the Sixth Circuit supporting a group of students in Detroit who are suing the state over its lack of support for literacy in the public schools. Several years ago, we were unsuccessful in seeking a ruling in state court that the Michigan Constitution guarantees a right to an adequate public education, including the right to read. This case seeks a similar ruling, except in federal court and under the United States Constitution.

Our brief focused on the systemic racism in Michigan that has been driving oppression in Detroit for generations. In April 2020, the Sixth Circuit issued a historic ruling that there is a fundamental right to literacy and education under the United States Constitution. The Sixth Circuit’s ruling cited the ACLU’s brief repeatedly in its opinion.

(Gary B. v. Whitmer; ACLU Attorney Dan Korobkin; Cooperating Attorney Peter Hammer of Wayne State Law School.)

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