Michigan Gov. Jenifer Granholm’s office has removed its petition supporting embryonic stem-cell research from the governor’s publicly funded website.
The governor’s action came less than a week after the Thomas More Law Center filed a federal lawsuit asking the court to either ban the petition or allow pro-life groups to place their own petition supporting the ban on embryonic stem-cell research on the website.
“The battle is not yet over. She [Granholm] has not yet answered our lawsuit,” said Richard Thompson, president and chief counsel of the Law Center. “It’s important to keep in mind that the website in question is paid for and owned by the people of this state; it is not Gov. Granholm’s personal property. Yet, she only allowed people who supported her position to use the website to petition the leaders of the legislature -- a clear case of discrimination against citizens who are pro-life.”
Law Center spokesperson Mallary Hernly said the issue is one of “fundamental fairness.”
“It is not about Governor Granholm voicing her opinion,” he said in a press communiqué. “It’s about only allowing persons who agree with her position to use a publicly funded website to communicate with their legislative representatives.”
The Thomas More Law Center filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court in Lansing on behalf of the Lansing Guild of the Catholic Medical Association, Flint-Area Right To Life, and Right To Life – Lifespan.
The lawsuit also seeks a declaration that Granholm’s policy violated the constitutional rights of those citizens who were denied equal access to, and use of, the website.
Further, it is not yet apparent whether the governor’s action is a principled end to the discrimination or simply an attempt to put the lawsuit to rest.