[Photo of Patrick J. Wright]

Patrick J. Wright

Vice President for Legal Affairs

Patrick Wright is Vice President for Legal Affairs at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, where he directs the Mackinac Center Legal Foundation. He joined the Center in June 2005 after serving for three years as a Michigan Supreme Court commissioner, a post in which he made recommendations to the court concerning which state appeals court cases it should hear.

Prior to that, Wright spent four years as an assistant attorney general for the State of Michigan, where he gained significant litigation and appellate advocacy experience. He joined the state Attorney General’s Office after one year as a policy advisor in the Senate Majority Policy Office of the Michigan Senate. Wright also spent two years as a law clerk to Hon. H. Russell Holland, a United States district court judge in Alaska.

Wright received his law degree at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. He graduated with honors in 1994. He received his undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Michigan in 1990.

Wright lives in Chelsea, Mich., with his wife and sons.

A Model Right-to-Work Amendment to the Michigan Constitution

This policy brief discusses several foundational legal concepts and sets forth model language for a legally sound right-to-work amendment to the Michigan Constitution. … more

Workers’ Paychecks Need Further Protection

In order to prevent misuse of nonmembers’ money, right-to-work laws or an end to compulsory unionism is needed. Paycheck protection laws are better than nothing, but they certainly are not optimal public policy. … more

Defeating Privatization

Appendix 1: A Recent Privatization Court Challenge

Durant Decision Summary

The People’s Power: Defending Representative Government

The arguments both for and against the OFIS rulings indicate that these decisions involve a genuine policy debate — something that should, under the Michigan Constitution, be decided in the Legislature. … more

Property Owners Hit by Regulatory Takings Deserve Compensation

Regulatory takings occur when the government enacts a regulation or law that diminishes the value of the property but does not take ownership. … more

A Proposal for Property Protection

Proposal 4: A Legal Review and Analysis

Proposal 4 of 2006, which will appear on the November ballot, is a proposed state constitutional amendment that would alter state law regarding eminent domain, the legal theory that permits the government to take private property for public use if the government pays just compensation. … more

The Property Rights Fight Since Kelo

While federal reform efforts have stalled, Michigan residents are well placed to prevent the government from cynically confiscating the property where they live, work and worship. … more

Restoring Our Heritage of Property Rights

America’s Founders created a system of government designed to protect property rights. The Founders were influenced by the 17th century philosopher John Locke, who held that everyone who labored had a natural right to property. Property rights, he wrote, reward effort and reduce conflict. Preserving “lives, liberties, and estates” is “the great and chief end” of government. … more

Mackinac Center Amicus Curiae Brief in Attorney General v. Michigan Public Service Commission

A Mackinac Center “friend of the court” filing to the Michigan Supreme Court in a case involving the Michigan Public Service Commission’s renewable-energy surcharge on electrical bills. … more

Making State Agencies More Accountable

Agencies and commissions have become so used to having free reign that they broadly construe their mission even where the Legislature only gives a particular agency or commission a limited task. … more

Mackinac Center Amicus Curiae Brief in DPG York v. Michigan

A Mackinac Center “friend of the court” filing to the Michigan Court of Appeals in a case involving the preferential sale of state land. … more

Michigan Landowners To Be Heard at U.S. Supreme Court

Congress has effectively entered into land-use regulation, a domain traditionally left to state and local government. Worse, Congress delegated its authority to the Army Corps of Engineers, whose employees, whatever their expertise, never face the crucible of an election. … more

Court correctly ended MEA’s Catholic school bid

Mackinac Center Amicus Curiae Brief in Rapanos v. United States and Carabell v. United States Army Corps of Engineers

A Mackinac Center “friend of the court” filing to the U.S. Supreme Court in two cases involving federal wetlands regulation of Michigan properties. … more

Taking Liberties

Taking Measures

Michigan Supreme Court Ruling on “Beachwalking” Erodes Property Rights

The court’s ruling now exposes Great Lakes waterfront landowners to new risks and intrusions. Do the landowners have a duty to make the area beneath the high-water mark safe for walkers or wheelchair users? Can people fish all day below the high-water mark? … more

Court Building

Property Damage