The Thomas More Law Center announced that it has filed a federal lawsuit against Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm for discrimination against citizens who oppose embryonic stem research. The governor currently allows private citizens to use the Office of the Governor website to submit a petition posted on the website addressed to Michigan's legislature leaders to lift Michigan's legal restrictions on stem cell research.
The lawsuit was brought on behalf of three pro-life organizations, the Lansing Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Flint-Area Right To Life, and Right To Life — Lifespan, after the governor refused their request to place a petition to the legislative leaders on the Governor's official publicly funded website, opposing efforts to lift the ban on embryonic stem cell research.
Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented, "Governor Granholm's decision to use public funds to discriminate against citizens who disagree with her on the issue of stem cell research violates our clients' constitutional rights of speech, association, equal protection and petitioning. Her support of embryonic stem cell research demonstrates a callous disregard for human life."
The lawsuit, filed in the US District Court in Lansing, seeks a declaration that Granholm's policy violates the constitutional rights of those citizens who were denied equal access to, and use of, the website, as well as injunctive relief ordering Granholm to cease discriminating against citizens based on their views about legal restrictions on embryonic stem cell research in Michigan.
Patrick T. Gillen, the Law Center attorney handling the case, observed that "Granholm's use of government resources to favor citizens who agree with her views on public policy violates First Amendment and equal protection rights. It is a dangerous precedent which, if unchallenged, would enable public officials to drown out the voice of dissenters."