Mackinac Center Legal Foundation


Patrick J. Wright
Vice President for Legal Affairs

Derk Wilcox
Senior Attorney

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation is a public interest law firm that advances individual freedom and the rule of law in Michigan. The Foundation uses strategic litigation and public outreach to secure the liberties of Michigan’s residents, workers, students and entrepreneurs.

Individuals, now friends, who we've had the privilege to help:


Teachers Freed from Decade of Forced Unionism

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued on behalf of three teachers in the Taylor School District over a side agreement the union and school board reached that would force teachers to financially support the union for 10 years.

Case details and legal documents.


Protecting Business Owners’ Right to Free Speech

First Amendment rights are violated when people are forced to subsidize speech they disagree with. The Mackinac Center is representing a resort owner fighting against a tourism bureau that is making him subsidize marketing campaigns he opposes.

Case details and legal documents.


Securing Teachers’ Right to Work

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation filed unfair labor complaints on behalf of Miriam Chanski, as well as several other plaintiffs, against the Michigan Education Association over the union's misreading of Michigan's right-to-work law.

Case details and legal documents.


Fighting For a Teacher’s Right to Work

Four years after Michigan passed right-to-work and three contract agreements later, it’s time the MEA and all its local affiliates admit that right-to-work applies to teachers, too. So the MCLF is helping science teacher Ronald Robinson in his fight to exercise his freedom.

Case details and legal documents.


Suing the State to See Flint Water Documents

Open government requires timely information, so the MCLF filed a lawsuit against the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ). The reason: The department was taking months to respond to a simple public records request related to the Flint water crisis.

Case details and legal documents.


Holding the University Of Michigan Accountable

After waiting more than 100 days for the University of Michigan to fulfill a simple Freedom of Information Act request, the Mackinac Center filed a lawsuit against the university, asking the court to enforce the state’s open records law.

Case details and legal documents.


Mackinac Center Secures Teacher’s Right to Work

The MCLF filed suit on behalf of Adam Neuman, a Brighton High School teacher, against the Brighton Education Association and the Brighton Area Schools Board of Education. The contract violated two state laws and infringed on Neuman’s freedoms.

Case details and legal documents.


City Drops Its Illegal Fees after MCLF Suit

The Mackinac Center for Public Policy filed a lawsuit against the city of Westland for an illegal fee on people seeking public information. As a result, they agreed to restructure the fees they charged for public documents.

Case details and legal documents.


Lawsuit Forces Teamsters To Drop Anti-RTW Policy

The MCLF filed a lawsuit on behalf of four city of Dearborn employees against Teamsters Local 214 over the union's misreading of Michigan's right-to-work law. As of December 2013, Teamsters Local 214 abandoned its anti-RTW discriminatory policy.

Case details and legal documents.


Home Help Providers Saved From Illegal Dues

The Foundation sued to end the SEIU-HM and MQCCC's illegal diversion of so-called "union dues" from federal Medicaid checks received by home help providers, who are often tending disabled family members.

Case details and legal documents.


MCLF Protects Grad Students from Forced Unionism

The Foundation prevented the Michigan Employment Relations Commission from violating its previous ruling that research assistants are students, not public employees. The motion was filed on behalf of Melinda Day, a graduate research assistant.

Case details and legal documents.


MCLF Defends Home-Based Day Care Workers

The Foundation sued to end the DHS' illegal diversion of so-called "union dues" from state subsidy checks received by Michigan's home-based day care providers who watch children from low-income families.

Case details and legal documents.


District, Union Drop Illegal Contract Language Following Suit

The Mackinac Center Legal Foundation sued 10 Kent County school districts and the Kent County Education Association to remove illegal contract language.

Case details and legal documents.