Great news for Michigan libraries on the ballot: the federal Judge hearing the PA 269 / SB571 “gag order” suit made his temporary injunction against enforcement permanent today. Congratulations to the Michigan Library Association, one of the co-plaintiffs in the suit, for prevailing. MLA has the news:
MLA and Member Efforts Deliver a Victory for Free Speech and Michigan Libraries: Temporary Injunction is Now Permanent
Libraries are once again free to educate and inform voters about upcoming millage elections. Today a permanent injunction was signed by a federal judge in U.S. District Court. This means the section of PA 269/SB 571 prohibiting voter education in not enforceable. The bill in effect had banned the dissemination of factual information 60 days prior to a millage election.
Immediately after the bill was passed, MLA joined a coalition of associations and groups opposed to the bill and filed a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the act. A federal judge issued a temporary injunction declaring the section in question was an infringement of constitutional rights.
Thousands of library supporters from Michigan and across the country came out in support of free speech and the library’s right to provide access to information. After a robust campaign for a veto of the bill, the governor signed it into law. MLA continued to work with legislators to amend the bill and MLA Board of Directors approved participation in the lawsuit as well as an amicus brief to defend our first amendment rights….
We are proud of the over 5,600 people who signed our #VetoSB571 petition at the start of all this. It was an honor to work in support of MLA’s message, and for the libraries we are working with this year on campaigns across the state. Public pressure and public outcry was a key component of moving this into the courts, and of the court’s understanding of how the public would be negatively impacted by this law. Thank you for taking the step and making your voice heard. Thanks to MLA and the other plaintiffs across Michigan for making the case and standing up for what is right: open, transparent elections.
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