Michigan News

Drug Testing for Benefits Recipients? How About Legislators?

Drugs are everywhere in our society, from the streets to the penthouse. That’s why requiring mandatory drug testing in order to qualify for welfare benefits is simple discrimination.

Back in 2000, we successfully fought against a mandatory drug testing program imposed by the state, arguing that it unconstitutionally victimized poor people (read more about the case). However, now the Department of Health Services is trying to revive applicant drug testing for those “suspected of drug use.”

Perhaps we should drug test everyone who receives any government money, like our legislators? Since drug use is common across all socio-economic backgrounds, relying on negative stereotypes of the poor only vilifies those who need aid.

 Our Executive Director Kary Moss wrote an op-ed in the Detroit Free Press, detailing why this practice is not only unconstitutional, but impractical (via the Free Press).

Schooling the Police on the Law?

Walk downtown with a mask on, and you might end up teaching a lesson to Howell’s finest.

Two high school students wore Guy Fawkes masks standing on a street corner to protest online piracy legislation SOPA and PIPA.

Police demanded that they remove the masks. After the students asked for proof that this was the law, the offending officer did some research, found himself to be in error, and apologized to the peaceful protesters.

We know what he was thinking of: we challenged earlier legislation restricting the wearing of masks to educational, religious, historical, or entertainment purposes back in 2000 (via the Livingston Daily).

National News

Who Says the Constitution is Outdated?

Despite the changes in technology and society, the Bill of Rights is still as relevant today as it was over 200 years ago. This week, the Supreme Court illustrated the continued importance of its ideals and ruled that the use of GPS trackers without a warrant violated the 4th Amendment.

The progress of technology can sometimes leave the regulatory spectrum looking like the Wild West, but this is never an excuse for ignoring the basic principles upon which this country was founded. 

You can help reclaim your 4th Amendment rights in this technological age by showing support for the GPS Act, which would regulate how your GPS information is used by law enforcement and businesses.

In an era where technology progresses exponentially and power is abused by government entities, our fundamental rights require an even more vigilant defense. (via the Blog of Rights).

Stay informed

ACLU of Michigan is part of a network of affiliates

Learn more about ACLU National