“Wonder”: Samuel Bagenstos Releases Second Campaign Ad

Samuel Bagenstos, Democratic nominee for Michigan Supreme Court, has released his second digital ad of the general election. The ad features Ehlena and Stacey Fry and highlights Sam’s work on behalf of the Fry family in the matter of: Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools.

The ad can be found by following this link.

Ehlena Fry is a girl from rural Michigan who has cerebral palsy.  In the fall of 2009, when she was five years old, her doctor recommended that she acquire a service dog. Her family found Wonder, a fluffy white Goldendoodle. Wonder helped Ehlena open doors, turn on lights, pick up dropped items, remove her coat, and stay steady as she used a walker. Ehlena and her parents were thrilled: Wonder gave Ehlena more independence as she went about her daily life -- playing, learning, and interacting with her peers.

But soon after Ehlena started kindergarten, her school told her Wonder wasn’t welcome. Ehlena’s family ultimately had to pull her from school and homeschool her. Ehlena and her family sued, assisted by the ACLU of Michigan, but the federal trial and appellate courts dismissed her case.  

“When I read the Court of Appeals decision, I thought it was flat wrong on the law,” Said Sam Bagenstos. “I’ve been a disability rights lawyer for decades and it was clear to me that Ehlena’s rights had been violated under the Americans with Disabilities Act. So I joined Ehlena’s team and led the appeal to the United States Supreme Court -- and won. When people are shut out of the political process, we need the courts to vindicate their rights.”

“We have a voice. We don’t have to tolerate the discrimination that our children face,” said Stacey Fry, Ehlena’s mother. “No child should have to choose between their education and their independence. Sam is a fighter and he’s the type of person we need to have on Michigan’s Supreme Court.”

Read more about the case:

A GIRL, HER WONDER DOG, AND A SUPREME COURT RULING

The Law Quadrangle, The University of Michigan Law School

Michigan girl goes before Supreme Court for OK to take dog to school

Detroit Free Press

Samuel Bagenstos is a civil rights attorney and Democratic nominee for Michigan Supreme Court. Sam is the Frank G. Millard Professor of Law at the University of Michigan.  During the Obama Administration, he served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under Attorney General Eric Holder. Sam has argued four cases in the United States Supreme Court, winning three of them.  He lives in Ann Arbor with his wife -- civil rights lawyer Margo Schlanger -- and their two children.


Samuel Bagenstos