Bureaucratic Follies

By Todd Heywood

Secretary of State Agrees to Stop Enforcing Constitutionally Vague Vanity Plate Law

Keep an eye out in Ann Arbor for a Michigan issued vanity plate reading WAR SUX. The Secretary of State has agreed to allow the plate as part of a federal court settlement over the First Amendment. Officials at the department, run by Republican Ruth Johnson, originally denied that plate - and one for an Upper Peninsula resident that read 1FIDEL - under a state law that allowed such denials when the plate was deemed "offensive to good taste and decency."

The ACLU brought a suit arguing that the law violated the First Amendment, and last week a federal judge in Grand Rapids agreed. The Detroit Free Press reports Federal District Court Judge Gordon Quist ruled that the First Amendment applies to license plates.

Officials originally denied the WAR SUX plate because SUX had a sexual connotation. Under the consent agreement, the SoS will no longer disapprove such plates when sexual words are used as slang to mean something other than sex.

No word yet if 1homo is available, or if it will be issued under the agreement.

MDCH Director James Haveman Resigns Effective Sept. 12

Michigan Department of Community Health Director James Haveman has announced he is stepping down from that role effective Sept. 12. He cited a stroke he suffered Memorial Day Weekend as the reason he moved his retirement up from 2015.

"Gov. Snyder has named MDCH Chief Deputy Director Nick Lyon as the new director," a press release from Snyder's communications office says. "Lyon served as deputy director of the MDCH Operations Administration from 2010 to 2011 and as deputy director of the Health Policy and Regulation Administration from 2003 to 2008. Prior to joining the MDCH, he served as the director of the Office of Budget Development and General Government within the State Budget Office and as the finance officer for the Department of Attorney General. Lyon earned a bachelor's degree in economics and political science from Yale University."


More Political Hors Doeuvres

  • Latest News

Enter To Win

Enter contests to win great prizes like CDs, DVDs, concert tickets and more

Special Section: Automotive
Former Chrysler Executive Talks Workplace Inclusivity

As an openly gay man, Fred Hoffman said, "I really didn't know if there would be an issue." And while he wasn't waving rainbow flags when he was recruited by Chrysler in 1988, he was told being gay wasn't a problem.

View More Automotive
This Week's Issue

Download or view this week's print issue today!