[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.

On the Case: Right-to-Work

Supreme Court Rules Unions Can't Take Extra Fees Without Consent

Constitutional Pension Reform, 50 Years On

Collective Bargaining Initiative Is About Power, Not Rights

Justices' Questions Provide Insight In Obamacare Debate

Legislature Should End Abusive Public-Sector Unionizations

Back-to-School Daze

FOIA Law Enhances Center’s Research and Reporting

Law Regarding Prohibited Subjects of Collective Bargaining Needs Updated

MEA Lawsuit on Retiree Health Benefits Misguided

Eroding rights?

Cheating a rigged game

Litigation Backgrounder: Loar v. DHS

Taking Liberties

President’s Merit Pay Idea Merits Attention

Digging Ourselves a Deeper Hole

'Hobbes vs. Locke': The battle continues

Public Education: Time for Change Based on the Merits

A merit-pay program for Michigan's public schools would reward teachers based on student achievement, rather than longevity and advanced degrees. … more

Teacher Merit-Pay Plan Gaining Popularity

The Merits of the Case

The Merits of the Case

Michigan Supreme Court Decision Limits Agency Powers

In practice, this ruling will make it more difficult to achieve policy change through executive fiat because the courts will engage in a meaningful review to determine whether the agency action was permitted by the Legislature’s statute. … more

RMGN Rejected

Beach Affront

We should not happily accept the erosion of one of the pillars of our society — the right to own property, which necessarily includes the power to exclude. … more

A Great (Lake) Decision

Supreme Court Decision Complicated, But Correct

Ironically, the Michigan Supreme Court is being criticized for a “political” result when that result comes from applying the long-recognized standing doctrine that is meant to keep the courts from engaging in political activity. … more

Governor and Legislature Appear Unable To Judge Priorities

Sadly, however, the Legislature has ignored judicial recommendations that would promote meaningful long-term change. … 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

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

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

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

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

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