July 24, 2019 Update

Post date: Jul 24, 2019 9:38:58 PM

On Tuesday, July 23 attorneys for Taxpayers for Michigan Constitutional Government filed a statement of supplemental authority with the Michigan Court of Appeals, following a ruling by the Michigan Supreme Court that affects our lawsuit against the state.

In Paquin v City of St Ignace, the Court considered whether, under the Michigan Constitution, a tribal government is properly considered a local government. The Attorney General argued “that, because the Tribe functions as a local government, the Tribe is a local government.” The Court rejected this argument finding that functional equivalency is an improper test for determining the meaning of the phrase ‘local government’ under the State Constitution, writing “Nowhere in our Constitution does it state that local-government equivalency suffices; the provision simply states ‘local . . . government.’”

Similarly, in our lawsuit, the Attorney General argues that charter schools, incorporated as

private nonprofit corporations, carry out functions similar to that of local governments such as school districts and therefore, charter schools are equivalent to local governments. However, the Michigan Supreme Court’s recent decision in Paquin determinative and conclusively rejects this argument.

The Michigan Supreme Court’s decision is welcome news and bodes well for our lawsuit against the state. We are still awaiting a decision from the Michigan Court of Appeals. Your continued support is appreciated and we will update you with additional information as it is available.