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November 20, 2014 - Image 2

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The Michigan Daily, 2014-11-20

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2A - Thursday, November 20, 2014

The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com

2A - Thursday, November 20, 2014 The Michigan Daily - michigandailycom ~


Beach Boys, mathematics inspire LSAju
k Goodney it out in advance, maybe I but not make music. We want- Yes.
too impor- could say I would be a pretzel ed to see how many likes on Actuarial mathematics.
rod or something. Facebook we would get.

LSA junior Patric
doesn't think he's
tant, apparently.

Sojust to start off,ifyou
couldbe a pretzel, what
kind would you be?
(Pause.) Is this an actual
question that would you put
in paper or is this a warm up?
No, this is a real question.
That's kind of a ridiculous
I can ask a different
question if that makes you
Yeah, I would prefer that. I
feel like questions like that
just ask what my favorite
pretzel would be. If I thought
Pop is plain
This arts blog addresses
the transition artists make
from their original genre to
pop, which is argued to have
lyrics that are designed only
to be catchy. Jason Derulo
is exemplified here. Though
his first songs were never
terribly deep, it's contended
than later hits, like "Wiggle"
are even more base.
New single
The newest single by
Common, which includes
verses from Malik Yusef and
Kumasi, encourages listen-
ers to involve themselves in
the environmental move-
ment. Bajgoric comments
on the song's relatability
and catchiness paired to the
seriousness of its message.

Okay, what's your favorite
kind of pretzel then?
My favorite kind of pretzel
is the... thin regular pretzels
that are like kind of skinny
sticks. ShouldI establish some
sort of personal relationship I
have with them?
No, that's OK. Tell me some
fun facts about you.
I don't have fun facts about
Nothing at all?
Um ... OK... I had a fake band
in high school. Some other
kids and I tried to start a band

How many did youguys get?
Fifty. It was not that success-
ful ... ugh, I really have noth-
ing to say.
Why don't youthink you're
important or interesting?
You have so much to offer
the world.
Maybe that can be the topic
of the interview. So you could
ask, 'Patrick why are you the
worst human ever?'
Um, OK. So what's your
What is my major?

So like when Iwas goingoutcof
high school I was like, 'Man,
I'm going into college at the U
of M, I should probably figure
out a major that is good for
me.' I typed into Google 'top
paying math jobs' because I'm
good at math. Actuarial math
was the top one and that was
literally all the thought I put
in to my major ... ugh, I don't
wanna look like a ditz.
Well, what have been your
most impactful experiences
as a math major?
I literally have nothing pro-
found to say off the top of my

Environmental Truth about Disparities in
lawlecture lies lecture cancer care

head about my life. I started
taking all the right classes
recently. I'm just an idiot and
getting a late start. I literally
have nothing else to tell you.
I'm not proud of anything I
am saying right now or could
OK, how do you spend your
I don't know how I spend my
day. I go to class, I don't know.
On the most perfect
Saturday of your life, what
would happen?
(Fake sobs.) CanI go on a rant
on how much I love the Beach
An Iowa man was
arrestedby Secret Service
Wednesday after they
discovered that his vehicle,
parked near the White House,
contained numerous weapons,
USA Today reported. Agents
could not identify what the
man's plans were in D.C.
The Arts section
examines the
University's ice carving
team and gives a preview
of this season's MUSKET
performance, "Sweeney Todd:
The Demon Barber of Fletcher
Arizon Attorney
General Thomas
Horne has filed suit
against General Motors, The
New York Times reported.
Horne claims the automaker
defrauded consumers in his
state of around $3 billion.

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In aprevious verison of the
article "In Taylor's first
meeting as mayor, council
approves winter shelter," the
article incorrectly attributed
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Councilmember Steven Kun-
selman (D-Ward 3). The
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From Page 1A
sary for the protections of trans-
gender peoples to be included. In
an interview last week following
the introduction of Foster's bill,
State Rep. Adam Zemke (D-Ann
Arbor), who co-sponsored Singh's
bill, called Bolger's interpretation
of the issue incorrect.
"With all due respect to Speak-
er Bolger, he's mistaken in that
regard," Zemke said. "Discrimi-
nation, as it's enumerated under
Elliott-Larsen, is often handled asa
state's rights issue and that's what
we're seeing here, and that's what
we're trying to push forward."
When it comes to the nuances of
the current legal record on gender
identity and expression protec-
tions, the short answer is that the
Democrats and the GOP are both
right and also both wrong in some
The long answer is that the
legal status of those protections
is complicated but facing undeni-
able uncertainty for a number of
reasons, according to practicing
employment discrimination law-
yers and experts in the state.

Employment discrimination
plaintiffs in Michigan have two
options for recourse available to
them: to file in the state's courts
under ELCRA or to file in the fed-
eral court system under either the
1964 Civil Rights Act or both the
Act and ELCRA.
Trial attorney Charlotte Croson
is a partner at the Bingham Farms-
based law firm Bogas, Koncius
& Croson, which focuses on civil
rights litigation.
Croson said there are several
reasons a lawyer and plaintiff
might choose to file in state court
as opposed to federal court when
it comes to employment discrimi-
nation cases, and vice versa. The
process and legal precedentfortwo
court systems differ.
"Michigan discrimination case
law differs in some significant
ways from federal discrimination
case law," Croson said. "It's sort of
a lot to go through, but there are
differences, so it's up to the lawyer
and her client to determine which
venue is appropriate for them to be
Much of the uncertainty that
specifically concernsgender iden-
tity and expression protections
comes from the difference in case
law - a term for legal precedent -

on the state and federal level.
In 1989, in Price Waterhouse v.
Hopkins, the U.S. Supreme Court
ruled that protection against sex
discrimination, as outlined in
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights
Acts, also encompassed the con-
cept of sex stereotyping - dis-
criminating against individuals
because they were perceived to
not conform with traditional ste-
reotypes for their gender. Though
the case did not include a trans-
gender plaintiff, two federal
appeals courts have employed its
precedent in cases that directly
reference gender identity and
expression protections.
One of those courts was
the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of
Appeals - which includes Michi-
gan in its jurisdiction - when it
ruled in favor of a transgender
plaintiff in 2004 for Smith v. City
of Salem. This means that, as of 10
years ago, it is possible to sue for
transgender protections under
sex discrimination in federal
courts in Michigan, Ohio, Ken-
tucky and Tennessee.
It is also true that, in 2012, the
U.S. Equal Employment Oppor-
tunity Commission found in
the case of Macy v. Holder that
discrimination on the basis of
gender expression or identity is
included in Title VII's protec-
tions against sex discrimination.
The EEOC is the federal agency
charged with enforcing laws
against employment discrimina-
tion, litigating and investigating
on behalf of individuals whose
claims they deem valid.
Broadly, the 2012 decision
means that if the EEOC receives
a claim of discrimination from a
transgender individual, they are
now able to pursue it under the
mandate against sex discrimina-
tion nationwide.

In an e-mail follow-up, Bol-
ger spokesman Ari Adler noted
several legal citations for the
Speaker's position, namely both
the 1989 Hopkins Supreme Court
decision and the 2012 EEOC
Macy decision, along with sev-
eral cases in the Sixth Circuit,
starting with 2004 Smith.
Law Prof. Samuel Bagenstos
said there is set precedent on the
federal level because of cases like
Smith and Macy. He noted, how-
ever, that overall precedent on
the issue is still developing, leav-
ing uncertainty about what may
eventually be determined by a
higher court.
Fewer than 10 district courts
and one appeals court across the
country have also ruled in favor
of including the protections.
That's a small chunk of the
94 district courts and 13 appeals'
courts, which would rule on
the issue. Moreover, the U.S.
Supreme Court has yet to rule on
the issue.
"There is a series of cases that
do this - it is, as I said, a trend
that's moving forward," Bagens-
tos said. "It's not entirely certain
which way the courts are going
to ultimately go on these ques-
But the most immediate lack
of clarity for Michigan plaintiffs
lies in what that evolving discus-
sion on inclusion at the federal
level means for the state courts,
who currently have no prece-
dent set specifically for offering
gender identity and expression
protections under sex discrimi-
These are also the rulings that
most directly impact ELCRA, the
act currently being discussed for
amendment by legislators.
While state courts can be
aware of federal precedent, such

as that set in the Sixth Circuit,
they are not obligated to follow
it. Whether the EEOC will repre-
sent a certain group in court also
is not binding to state or federal
Trial lawyer Deborah Gordon,
former president of the Labor &
Employment Council of the State
Bar of Michigan, said that, in her
experience, the EEOC is ahead of
the courts when it comes to these
kinds of issues.
"If (Bolger) is talking about an
EEOC advisory, or something the
EEOC has ruled, that and a dollar
will get you a candy bar," Gordon
said, "I mean, the only thing that
matters in court is cases from
In further explanation of Bolg-
er's position, Adler noted several
state cases that set precedent for
gender stereotyping to be cov-
ered under sex discrimination -
for instance, a man who identifies
as male but does not act "mascu-
line enough" being rejected for
housing. Now, in Michigan, a
case in which that definition is
extended to a transgender person
must occur in order to set prec-
edent that ELCRA applies to gen-
der identity and expression.
This is similar to the path
cases took on the federal level to
set precedent, but Adler acknowl-
edged that no state cases as of yet
have directly concerned trans-
gender plaintiffs.
Bolger is confident that the
state courts would adopt the fed-
eral stance and wasn't concerned
about any uncertainty, Adler con-
However, both Croson and
Gordon said the lack of precedent
in state courts does not ensure
success for the transgender plain-
tiffs seeking gender identity and
expression protections.

"In order for (the transgender
plaintiff's) claim to be protected
under Michigan law, Michigan
courts would have to adopt the
same reasoning as the Sixth Cir-
cuit has adopted, which it has not
yet done," Croson said. "Will it
do that? I do not know. So for the
Speaker to assume that sex (dis-
crimination) under Elliott-Lars-
en would have the same meaning
as the case law as it's been devel-
oped in the Sixth Circuit, I think
is a stretch."
Croson noted that Michigan
courts haven't necessarily been
active in declining to adopt the
Sixth Circuit's reasoning; rath-
er, it's not an issue that's been
"I've never seen a case on it,"
she said. "They haven't rejected
it, they haven't adopted it. It
hasn't - as far as I can tell, under
Michigan law, it hasn't been an
Bagenstos said overall, wheth-
er to go through the courts or
to go through the legislature to
add these types of protections is
a question of political and legal
However, he said existing
precedent and case law don't
offer the same kind of protec-
tion direct legislative inclusion of
gender identity and expression in
ELCRA would.
"There is a very substantial
legal argument that the sex pro-
hibition discrimination in exist-
ing laws do protect individuals
who are discriminated against
based on their gender identity, but
it's uncertain how the courts will
ultimately rule," he said. "The
only way to be sure to provide
protection to transgender indi-
viduals is to make clear in the law
that the law prohibits discrimina-
tion based on gender identity."





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