In 2005, the Michigan Education Association initiated a lawsuit against the state superintendent, the state board of education, the state treasurer and the state treasury for allegedly violating the Michigan Constitution by allowing state funds to be disbursed to the charter schools authorized by Bay Mills Community College, which is operated by the Bay Mills Indian community. The college and its schools — now 32 in number — joined the case prior to the suit’s dismissal in Ingham County Circuit Court in December 2005.
The MEA has appealed that dismissal, and on April 26, 2006, the Mackinac Center for Public Policy filed a "brief of amicus curiae" in the case.[*] The brief offers two arguments: first, that the MEA lacks standing to sue in this instance, given Michigan statute and court rules; and second, that even if the union has standing to sue, the MEA’s arguments against these charter schools should be dismissed, since they are not substantively different from the anti-charter school arguments rejected by the Michigan Supreme Court in 1997.
[*]"Amicus curiae" means "friend of the court." Thus, the Mackinac Center is not a litigant in this case, but rather an interested observer supplying additional legal reasoning for the Michigan Court of Appeals to consider.