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:
- The law must affect a substantial impairment of the contractual relationship;
- A critical factor in determining the extent of the impairment is a history of past state regulation of the parties to the contract;
- If the impairment is minimal, there is no constitutional violation;
- 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.