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MSAE Submits Amicus Curae in Protection of Association Tax Standing Bookmark

The Michigan Supreme Court agreed to hear the case and asked for supplemental briefs to be filed on several issues, including whether associations have standing as “taxpayers” under the Headlee Amendment, and by extension, under what grounds associations have standing generally to sue on behalf of their members. “Standing” refers to the ability of a party to sufficiently demonstrate to the court that it will be harmed by the challenged law or action to support its participation in the case. 

While associations are not “taxpayers” and/or “harmed” parties in the strict sense of the word, their members are. Past Michigan case law has generally provided that associations have standing to represent their members. In 2010, the Michigan Supreme Court overruled a decision which expressly provided for association standing to represent its members; however, the issue of association tax standing was not the primary basis of the court’s ruling in this case. MSAE filed an amicus curae brief in this case. This decision resulted in a lack of clarity regarding the legal criteria for proving standing under Michigan law.

One of the principle roles of associations is to advocate before the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government on behalf of members. For this reason, the MSAE will submit an amicus brief to the Michigan Supreme Court to revive and/or clarify the standing of associations to file lawsuits on behalf of their members under general principles of Michigan’s jurisprudence.

The following organizations have supported MSAE in this effort:

    • Construction Association of Michigan
    • Michigan Farm Bureau
    • Michigan Petroleum Association
    • Michigan HomeCare & Hospice Association
    • Michigan Licensed Beverage Association
    • National Truck Equipment Association
    • Michigan Health and Hospital Association
    • Michigan Dental Association
    • Michigan Athletic Association
    • Michigan Pharmacists Association
    • Michigan Association of superintendents & Adminstrators
    • Michigan Bankers Association

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