Mackinac Center Amicus Curiae Brief in Michigan Education Association v. Michigan Secretary of State

At issue in this case is whether the Michigan Campaign Finance Act prohibits school districts from administering paycheck withdrawals for a union's "separate segregated fund" (more commonly referred to as a "political action committee" or "PAC"). On November 20, 2006, the secretary of state issued a declaratory ruling that school districts could not administer payroll deductions for separate segregated funds even if the union agreed to reimburse the district in advance for any costs. The MEA filed the instant action, and on September 4, 2007, the trial court held that as long as the union reimbursed a school district beforehand, the district could administer the payroll deduction program that would benefit the union's separate segregated fund.

On August 29, 2008, the Michigan Court of Appeals reversed the trial court's decision. This "friend of the court" brief, submitted by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, argues that a plain reading of the Michigan Campaign Finance Act shows that such paycheck withdrawals are illegal and that this interpretation properly recognizes that government has no appropriate role in advancing partisan political ends.

The brief is currently available as a PDF only (see the hyperlink above).