Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2010
Patrick J. Wright
Director, Mackinac Center Legal Foundation
Michael D. Jahr
Senior Director of Communications, Mackinac Center
MIDLAND — Mackinac Center Legal
Foundation Director Patrick J. Wright today filed
a motion with the Michigan Court of Appeals for reconsideration of a lawsuit filed by the foundation
against the Michigan Department of Human Services. The suit, which seeks to end the DHS' illegal withholding of
so-called "union dues" from child care subsidy checks sent to home-based day
care providers, was filed on behalf of day care owners Sherry Loar of
Petoskey, Michelle Berry of Flint and Paulette Silverson of Brighton.
Strikingly, the court's ruling, issued on Dec. 30, contained a one-sentence
dismissal of the lawsuit and presented no substantive legal opinion.
legal process requires legal analysis, not just an unexplained ruling," said
Wright. "The court's failure to provide a rationale is a palpable error, given
judicial precedent and the Michigan Constitution. That error needs to be
is especially true in a case that affects tens of thousands of people, involves
millions of dollars and presents significant constitutional questions about the
governor enacting laws without the Legislature," Wright added. "These are
important matters, and Michigan residents deserve an explanation."
The DHS maintains that Loar, Berry and Silverson, who own
home-based day care centers open to the public, are government employees
because they care for children whose parents qualify for government assistance
with day care services. The department also maintains that the three women are
members of a statewide union of government employees.