Michigan Court of Appeals Denies Motion to Recommit — Once Again Without Comment — in Day Care Union Case

Mackinac Center Legal Foundation will ask Michigan Supreme Court to reverse lower court’s dismissal, put an end to illegal unionization scheme

For Immediate Release
Friday, Oct. 29, 2010

Contact: Patrick J. Wright
Director
Mackinac Center Legal Foundation
or
Michael D. Jahr
Senior Director of Communications
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
989-631-0900

MIDLAND — In its latest one-sentence order, the Michigan Court of Appeals denied home-based day care owners' request to reconsider the dismissal of their lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Human Services. This is the fourth time in plaintiffs' two separate trips to the Court of Appeals that the court has failed to address how private business owners can be made to pay dues to a government employees union. Patrick J. Wright, director of the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation, said he will again ask the Michigan Supreme Court to reverse the dismissal, as the higher court did in September.

"I expect the Supreme Court will be disappointed in the Court of Appeals' terse denial, since the justices unanimously ordered the lower court to explain its justification for dismissal," said Wright, who filed the lawsuit on behalf of Sherry Loar, Michelle Berry and Paulette Silverson, Michigan home-based day care owners. Wright contrasted the panel's reticence with recent remarks on the role of the Court of Appeals made by Michigan Appellate Judge Douglas Shapiro.

"In each case, for the people involved, it's their only case," Shapiro told the University of Michigan's LSA Magazine. "So even if it seems run-of-the-mill, it's important to remember that there are real people who are waiting for the decision to come in the mail to tell them what happened, and not only to say if they won or lost, but why, so they feel they got a fair shake. They're entitled to an explanation."

Wright echoed Shapiro's sentiments. "Even if the court erroneously believes that a scheme that clearly violates the Michigan Constitution is permissible, Sherry, Michelle and Paulette are entitled to an explanation," Wright said. "So are 40,000 other Michigan business owners and day care providers who have seen millions of dollars extracted from their pay and given to a politically connected government-sector union. The failure to address the key question of their employment status is all the more egregious because the government defendants themselves have pointedly refused throughout the litigation to argue that these business owners and day care providers are government employees."

For more information on the case, visit www.mackinac.org/loar.

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