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 is 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.
Thanks to all who took action to let our elected officials know they can count on librarians to ensure the flow of information and education to our communities is accurate and timely.
This important victory highlights the significance of MLA advocacy, our GCSI lobbyists and the grassroots efforts of our members. A synopsis of our advocacy efforts is available here: http://www.milibraries.org/gov-snyder-signs-sb-571-into-law/