Tag: violates

Judge: Vanity plate law likely violates First Amendment

AP

October 4, 2020 | 4:01 PM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island law allowing the Division of Motor Vehicles to reject vanity license plates that are “offensive to good taste” likely violates the First Amendment, a federal judge ruled.

The judge issued a preliminary injunction Friday in support of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of the law, which gives the DMV administrator the authority to deny vanity plates based on whether he or she thinks they “might carry connotations offensive to good taste and decency.”

The lawsuit was filed in March against Walter Craddock, state DMV administrator, by the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island on behalf of Sean Carroll.

Carroll, a Tesla owner, was ordered by the DMV to turn in his plate “FKGAS” or have his registration canceled after the division received a complaint about the plate.

Carroll said the plate was his daughter’s suggestion, intending a meaning of “fake gas” to refer to the electric car. He doesn’t contest, however, that the plate could also be perceived as sending a different message that included profanity; he was supportive of that one, too.

The division has approved over 41,000 vanity plates, denied dozens of others, and maintains a list of more than 1,000 prohibited license plate combinations. The suit noted the arbitrary nature of the list and the DMV’s decisions; the judge agreed.

The state argued that the case should be dismissed, saying that licenses plates reflected government speech, not private speech, the law was reasonable, and that Carroll hadn’t established his case.

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Duggan says DDOT bus driver strike violates Michigan law



Mike Duggan that is standing in the street: Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan appears at a press conference on Oct. 3, 2020.


© City of Detroit
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan appears at a press conference on Oct. 3, 2020.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has responded to the ongoing strike of bus drivers Saturday afternoon, saying he hasn’t “gotten a single complaint or request from the leaders of the drivers union” expanding on their concerns on security in the past four months.

While there are concerns on safety, Duggan said the strike is also in response to the discipline of a driver’s reaction to a passenger not wearing a mask. Because of this, he said, the strike violates contract law.

Detroit bus drivers have been on strike since Friday, saying the Detroit Department of Transportation had failed to protect employees from COVID-19 and assaults. Some of these assaults were over mask-related disputes, with passengers lashing out when being asked to put on protective face-coverings. 

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“They are fed up with ongoing assaults, threats by angry riders refusing to wear masks, and other safety concerns while (Detroit Department of Transportation) officials are doing nothing to provide any protection at all,” Glenn Tolbert, President of Amalgamated Transit Union in Detroit said in a news release. “Way before the pandemic even began, we had demanded the agency provide us with police protection, training, emergency communication, and other safety measures.” 

Duggan said he met with the union four months ago in response to their safety concerns and replied with installing security doors next to drivers. He said the union had signed off on the design of the doors, recalling that they were pleased with the results. Duggan also said Detroit buses also have cameras installed to track and prosecute assaults.  

“So when you don’t hear from the unions that there is an issue, it’s a little surprising when you get up on Friday morning and find out they just didn’t show up for work, stranding people all over the city without notice,” he said. 

More: Fearful of the pandemic and threats from riders, Detroit’s bus drivers refuse to work

More: Driver who said woman coughed on his bus has died of coronavirus

“We initiated discussions with DDOT early this morning in hopes of finding real solutions,” Tolbert said. “Instead DDOT offered inadequate half-measures, leaving bus drivers and riders exposed to violence on buses and COVID-19.”

Duggan also said the strike was in response to a driver’s suspension. 

Tolbert said the driver was fired for acting in self-defense when a passenger became violent after being asked to wear a mask. Duggan said the found the video of the incident “disturbing”, adding DDOT’s response was appropriate. 

According to Duggan, the individual did not wear a mask when entering the bus. When asked where his mask was, the passenger covered his face with a piece of clothing. The driver did not start the bus, which prompted the passenger to cross the line and ask why the bus was going. Duggan said the passenger’s actions were

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DDOT bus driver strike violates Michigan law

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan has responded to the ongoing strike of bus drivers Saturday afternoon, saying he hasn’t “gotten a single complaint or request from the leaders of the drivers union” expanding on their concerns on security in the past four months.

While there are concerns on safety, Duggan said the strike is also in response to the discipline of a driver’s reaction to a passenger not wearing a mask. Because of this, he said, the strike violates contract law.

Detroit bus drivers have been on strike since Friday, saying the Detroit Department of Transportation had failed to protect employees from COVID-19 and assaults. Some of these assaults were over mask-related disputes, with passengers lashing out when being asked to put on protective face-coverings. 

“They are fed up with ongoing assaults, threats by angry riders refusing to wear masks, and other safety concerns while (Detroit Department of Transportation) officials are doing nothing to provide any protection at all,” Glenn Tolbert, President of Amalgamated Transit Union in Detroit said in a news release. “Way before the pandemic even began, we had demanded the agency provide us with police protection, training, emergency communication, and other safety measures.” 

Duggan said he met with the union four months ago in response to their safety concerns and replied with installing security doors next to drivers. He said the union had signed off on the design of the doors, recalling that they were pleased with the results. Duggan also said Detroit buses also have cameras installed to track and prosecute assaults.  

“So when you don’t hear from the unions that there is an issue, it’s a little surprising when you get up on Friday morning and find out they just didn’t show up for work, stranding people all over the city without notice,” he said. 

More: Fearful of the pandemic and threats from riders, Detroit’s bus drivers refuse to work

More: Driver who said woman coughed on his bus has died of coronavirus

“We initiated discussions with DDOT early this morning in hopes of finding real solutions,” Tolbert said. “Instead DDOT offered inadequate half-measures, leaving bus drivers and riders exposed to violence on buses and COVID-19.”

Duggan also said the strike was in response to a driver’s suspension. 

Tolbert said the driver was fired for acting in self-defense when a passenger became violent after being asked to wear a mask. Duggan said the found the video of the incident “disturbing”, adding DDOT’s response was appropriate. 

According to Duggan, the individual did not wear a mask when entering the bus. When asked where his mask was, the passenger covered his face with a piece of clothing. The driver did not start the bus, which prompted the passenger to cross the line and ask why the bus was going. Duggan said the passenger’s actions were inappropriate. He did not expand on the driver’s response, but said “(i)t wasn’t go back to your seat, it wasn’t stay back behind the line.”

The driver, he said, is in the middle

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Judge rules federal law enforcement commission violates law, orders work stopped as attorney general prepares to issue report

The ruling by Senior U.S. District Judge John D. Bates in Washington came in response to a lawsuit from the NAACP’s Legal Defense and Education Fund, which sought an injunction against the Presidential Commission on Law Enforcement and the Administration of Justice for violating laws on how federal advisory committees must work. Bates did not issue an injunction, but ordered the commission to change its membership and comply with other aspects of the law.

“Especially in 2020,” Bates wrote, “when racial justice and civil rights issues involving law enforcement have erupted across the nation, one may legitimately question whether it is sound policy to have a group with little diversity of experience examine, behind closed doors, the sensitive issues facing law enforcement and the criminal justice system in America today.”

The 18 member commission was composed entirely of state and federal law enforcement officials, with no one from the civil rights, criminal defense, social work, religious or academic fields. Members were sworn in on Jan. 22, and then heard months of testimony by teleconference from experts in a variety of police, prosecutorial and social fields. The commission also formed 15 working groups, with more than 100 members, to draft sections of the report focusing on topics such as “Reduction of Crime,” “Respect for Law Enforcement,” “Data and Reporting” and “Homeland Security.”

The Federal Advisory Committee Act requires that a committee’s membership be “fairly balanced in terms of the points of view represented and the functions to be performed,” so that its recommendations “will not be inappropriately influenced by the appointing authority.” The working groups were also largely tied to policing, with only five of the 112 members not from law enforcement. After the suit was filed, the speakers who testified before the commission were more diverse in professional background.

Police groups lobbied Congress for years to form a commission that would take a comprehensive look at improving American policing, as a similar panel did in the 1960s, to devise new ways to fight crime and use technology to improve policing. When various bills stalled in Congress, Trump signed an executive order last October creating the new group, with the president acknowledging the assistance of the Fraternal Order of Police and the International Association of Chiefs of Police in launching the project.

The law also requires that advisory committee meetings be open to the public, with notice posted in the Federal Register, along with a charter for the committee. The commission did not post a charter or meeting notices in the register, but did send out press releases announcing the virtual meetings as well as posting transcripts and recordings of the meetings. Reporters and others could dial in and listen to the teleconferences. A meeting which Barr held in June with the commission, on the same day Trump signed an executive order on police reform, was not announced and the Justice Department declined to release a transcript or recording.

Trump’s order called for the commission to submit its report and recommendations

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