Our Amicus Brief for Jaqueline Taylor v. Detroit

With For Love Of Water (FLOW) we filed an amicus brief that the City of Detroit deprived residents of their fundamental right to bodily integrity by denying them access to water in a manner that "callously and recklessly shocks the conscience."

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Clean Water

In September of 2020, Food & Water Watch and For Love of Water (FLOW), through local counsel Constitutional Litigation Associates, P.C., filed a “friend of the court” brief in Jacqueline Taylor et al., v. City of Detroit et al.a groundbreaking lawsuit that seeks to prevent water shutoffs in Detroit until the city establishes a customer affordability program.

From our senior staff attorney, Zach Corrigan:

“We’re proud to join with local allies in support of the landmark lawsuit to challenge water shutoff policies in Detroit, and potentially across the nation. In the midst of a deadly pandemic, city policies kept Detroit residents from washing their hands, flushing their toilets and cleaning their homes. The policies have caused disastrous consequences for the predominantly Black and poor residents of Detroit. 

People have a liberty interest in bodily integrity that is protected by the U.S. Constitution, and this right includes not depriving people of the water that they need for drinking, sanitation, and hygiene. It simply makes no sense to say that the Constitution would protect people from gross governmental recklessness resulting in the mass contamination of people’s water with toxic lead, such as in the city of Flint, but not when officials turn a blind eye to the serious health problems in turning residents’ water off altogether.

People’s right not to be deprived of the water they need… is deeply rooted in the history and traditions of this nation. It is imbued in case law defining the duties applicable to water utilities and in other contexts, such as the treatment of prisoners. Courts have expressly and repeatedly recognized the importance of ensuring people are not deprived of the water necessary for life and health.”

Someone has to stand up for the people. A donation of any amount helps fund more fights like this!