The Michigan Constitution Podcast

Tony Snyder is a licensed attorney in the State of Michigan who offers a bi-monthly podcast on the Michigan Constitution. Here you will learn about each Article and its respective Sections, what they mean, and case law that has addressed how those provision are implemented in the day-to-day lives of citizens of Michigan.


Podcast 26: Impairment of Contracts

This may be the shortest podcast we’re going to do on the Michigan Constitution. It’s because, honestly, it’s dreadfully boring. But there is one case worth noting: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan versus the Michigan Governor. It sets up a four element test to determine whether the State of Michigan may impair a legally executed contract between two parties. Those four elements are:

  1. The law must affect a substantial impairment of the contractual relationship;
  2. A critical factor in determining the extent of the impairment is a history of past state regulation of the parties to the contract;
  3. If the impairment is minimal, there is no constitutional violation;
  4. But if the impairment is severe, then there must be a showing of a significant and legitimate public purpose behind the regulation, and the means adopted by the legislature to achieve the public purpose must be reasonably related to the public purpose.


 2021-01-01  13m