Are We Going Backwards When It Comes to Civil Liberties?

ACLU Executive Director Kary Moss joins Stephen Henderson to talk about child separation at the border, Iraqi detainees, and voting rights.

Jake Neher/WDET

It seems we live in a time when we’re constantly discussing challenges to our civil liberties. 

When and where and what kind of speech is appropriate? What does it mean to be a responsible gun owner? What rights do we have in terms of voting? What are the broad freedoms one should be afforded as a human being.

These are fundamental questions, not just about the country we live in or the laws that govern us, but about the very idea of who we are, how we relate to one another, and whether the American experiment is still bubbling in a lab somewhere, or is really just about over.

Michigan Public Radio Network State Capitol Bureau Chief Rick Pluta joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to give an update on the court proceedings regarding Iraqi detainees. Pluta was in federal court this week in Detroit for the latest hearing in the case. The hearing was in response to a motion filed by the ACLU of Michigan that alleges immigration agents are coercing Iraqi detainees to sign statements that say they want to be deported.

Laura Weber Davis/WDET

Henderson also speaks with Kary Moss. For the past 20 years, Moss has been with the ACLU of Michigan, many of those years as its executive director. She speaks with Henderson about the many questions we seem to be facing about freedom in America. They discuss the Iraqi detainees case, as well as the frustration and confusion that surrounds the images and videos of border agents separating immigrant children from their parents as they cross into America. 

Garlin Gilchrist, founding executive director of the Center for Social Media Responsibility at the University of Michigan’s School of Information, joins the conversation with Henderson and Moss to talk about recent news regarding voting rights.

Just last week, the Supreme Court took a pretty big bite out of voting rights protections in a case that emerged from an Ohio law aimed at purging people who don’t vote. 

Click on the audio player above to hear the full conversation.


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