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Bankruptcy judge stops civil rights lawsuit

Judge Steven Rhodes

Judge Steven Rhodes

NAACP plans to appeal

DETROIT — Judge Steven Rhodes denied the NAACP lawsuit challenging the emergency manager law, Nov. 6. According to the suit filed by the Detroit branch of the NAACP, the EM law is a violation of the Voting Rights Act as it deprives Blacks of the right to vote and elected representation.

Judge Rhodes does not want to derail the bankruptcy proceedings and is insisting Orr lead the process — as the representative for the city. If Orr is removed, according to his ruling, the bankruptcy proceedings would come to an end.

As a U.S. Bankruptcy judge, Rhodes is able to rule on the constitutionality of state laws. Rhodes wants a “speedy”  resolution to the bankruptcy case.

The NAACP released the following statement:

“The NAACP disagrees with Judge Rhodes ruling on the lawsuit.  The organization remains undeterred by this ruling and plans to appeal this decision.  The fight will continue against this law that destroys democracy, puts dictators in charge and strips people of their constitutional rights. It shall not end today.

“It is important to remember more than half of Michigan’s African American voters have been stripped of the power of their votes to maintain their own publicly elected leaders.  The NAACP continues to believe this case has nothing to do with bankruptcy proceedings.  This is more than a Detroit issue it is a statewide issue.  It appears as though the court has taken upon itself to dive into strictly civil rights issues.  The issue of moving a case to determine the eligibility of bankruptcy forward, while negating the constitutional rights of the citizens backward, appears to reflect more of a judicial overreach than one of judicial objectivity.  The NAACP believes the right of the people to be heard should be upheld and most of all justice should be allowed to proceed without further delay.”

-Staff report


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