Justice for Flint: Samuel Bagenstos releases his first campaign ad

Samuel Bagenstos, Democratic nominee for Michigan Supreme Court, has released his first digital ad of the general election. The ad features residents of Flint talking about Sam’s victory in the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals.  That victory ensured the residents of Flint would have their day in court to seek accountability for the city’s water crisis.

The ad can be found by following this link: https://youtu.be/talZGTA1KQw

In February 2017, a federal trial judge, John Corbett O’Meara, ruled that the residents of Flint could not bring a lawsuit for relief from constitutional violations in the Flint Water Crisis.  After this outrageous ruling, Sam Bagenstos stepped in. He took the case to the federal 6th Circuit Court of Appeals and won. The appellate court reversed Judge O’Meara’s ruling and ensured that thousands of Flint residents would have their day in court.

Among those Flint residents featured in the ad:

  • Patrick and Selene Alcorn and their children. When faced with rashes on their children, Patrick researched and built his own water filtration to protect his family. Patrick’s quote: “We need a change, we need somebody like Sam who is going to get in there and is for the people.”

  • Ariana Hawk and her children. Ariana’s son Sincere was featured on the cover of Time magazine with rashes covering his body and face. Ariana’s quote: “We need someone like Sam on the Michigan Supreme Court. He is going to fight for us, and I believe in him.”

  • Maricarmen Keene and her children. Maricarmen bathed in water at home following the birth of her daughter right after the city’s water supply was changed to the Flint River. She was hospitalized for a severe infection at her c-section incision for a month and unable to care for her newborn baby. Mari’s quote: “Sam Bagenstos took on this class action lawsuit for families across Flint. This is somebody who is really fighting to make a difference.”

  • Pastor Monica Villereal, who has been on the frontlines of the response to help residents affected by the crisis. Her church, Salem Lutheran, continues to supply water to at-risk populations while the state has discontinued its water distribution. Pastor Monica’s quote: “The people of Flint are looking to the court system to provide a level of justice for this community. We need justices that are compassionate and dig for the truth and listen to the facts.”

“I’ve dedicated my career to fighting for people whose rights have been violated by corporations or governments,” said Bagenstos. “The Flint Water Crisis is the greatest environmental injustice our state has seen in decades. When I learned that a federal judge had denied the Flint residents their day in court, I couldn’t stand idly by.  I’m running for Michigan Supreme Court because the people of Michigan, like the residents of Flint, need a fighter for their rights.”

Sam's Republican opponents were appointed to the Court by Governor Rick Snyder.  They are standing for election for the first time this fall. The Flint Water Crisis occurred on Snyder's watch, and one of Sam's Republican opponents worked directly for Snyder while he and his administration made key decisions that exacerbated the crisis.

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