Mackinac Free Speech

Battaglieri v. Mackinac Center for Public Policy
IJ Defends Free Speech: Ends Michigan Education Association Effort to Silence Mackinac Center for Public Policy 

On September 27, 2001, Michigan Education Association President Luigi Battaglieri said at a news conference that he had called, “. . . quite frankly, I admire what they [the Mackinac Center] have done over the last couple of years entering into the field as they have and being pretty much the sole provider of research to the community, to the public, to our members, to legislators . . . .”  The Mackinac Center then drew from that quote in a letter to its supporters and potential supporters pointing out that even an individual who usually disagrees with the Center has recognized the effectiveness of its work.

Media conferences are events where speakers expect to be quoted; nonetheless, Battaglieri and his union filed a lawsuit to keep that quote quiet.

The MEA claimed the Mackinac Center “misappropriated” Battaglieri’s “likeness” by using the quote in a year-end fundraising newsletter.  The Mackinac Center and the Institute for Justice, which represented the Center free of charge, said the lawsuit represents a blatant attack on free speech.

On March 19, 2004, the Michigan Court of Appeals threw out the MEA’s lawsuit and the teachers’ union did not appeal to the Michigan Supreme Court.

Essential Background


Backgrounder: Challenging Coerced Subsidies for the Political Class: A First Amendment Lawsuit 

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Client Video - none available

Latest Release: Victory for Free Speech: Michigan Appeals Court Sides With Think Tank, Rejects Teachers’ Union’s Lawsuit (March 19, 2004)

Legal Briefs and Decisions

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Launch Release: Keeping the "Free" In Free Speech: Mackinac Center and Institute for Justice Defend Against Michigan Teachers’ Union Attack (May 21, 2002)

Case Timeline

Filed Lawsuit: 

March 8, 2002

Court Filed:

Circuit Court for the County of Ingham, Michigan


March 19, 2004: Court of Appeals orders case to be dismissed 



Case Completed; Victory for Mackinac Center & IJ

Additional Releases


Maps, Charts and Facts

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Op-eds, News Articles and Links



Article: Calling the Bully’s Bluff; IJ & Mackinac Center Team Up To Beat Michigan Teachers’ Union (June 2004)

Article: IJ & Mackinac Center Fight For Free Speech; Liberty & Law (August 2002)

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