There's nothing more wholesome and quintessentially American than a day at the ballgame with your kids.

At least until an honest mistake means you have to move out of your home and your child is taken away by authorities.

This story and more on the civil liberties front in Your Weekly Rights Review.

Michigan News

Bad Day at the Ballgame

Christopher Ratte was just being a good dad when he bought a lemonade for his young son, Leo, at a baseball game. He didn't realize it was an alcoholic drink until security officials approached him and called police.

Though his wife was not at the ballgame, Child Protective Services refused to allow Leo to go home with his parents. Eventually, Christopher was forced to move out of his home to ensure Leo's return until the case was dropped.

Along with Christopher, we've asked a judge to strike down a state law that lets police remove children from parents' custody without showing that a child is in immediate danger. (via the Detroit Free Press).

A Civil Liberties Champion

Here at the ACLU of Michigan, we'd like to take a moment to honor longtime friend Joe Ellin. Joe was a strong advocate for civil liberties, and served as an ACLU of Michigan vice chairman for many years.

As a professor of philosophy at Western Michigan University, he inspired generations of students to think critically about essential ethical questions.

He was a true champion for the disadvantaged, and will be sorely missed. (via

Your Local ACLU Branch

You might have noticed our events calendar overflowing with films, discussions and dinners taking place all across Michigan.

Many of these events are put together by our incredible ACLU of Michigan Branches.

Our branches do a tremendous amount of work and are a great place to start taking local action.

Find out where your local ACLU of Michigan Branch is and attend one of their events this spring.

National News

A Catastrophe Leads to Political Reform

This week marked the 100 year anniversary of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, when over 140 men, women and girls died trapped behind doors padlocked by the factory owners.

The tragedy was so horrifying that it galvanized calls for workplace reform and the right to collective bargaining.

Read more about responses to the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire at the Blog of Rights.