a little nonpartisan politics for a moment|
A letter to the editor from my friend Mary Shindell, for your contemplation:
The Michigan Supreme Court is in dire need of change. A study published in May 2008 by the University of Chicago Law School titled, "Which States Have the Best (and Worst) High Courts," ranked the Michigan Supreme Court one of the worst. The study measured three factors: productivity, as measured by the number of opinions a judge publishes in a year; opinion-quality, based on the number of out-of-state citations; and independence, based on whether the judge was more likely to vote with opposite-party judges. In individual factor ratings, the Michigan Supreme Court ranked 40th on productivity, 42nd on opinion-quality and dead last on both the independence ranking and the composite ranking. The full 50-page report is available online: http://www.law.uchicago.edu/files/405.pdf
Chief Justice Clifford Taylor has lead the court in the opposite direction of independence and justice. He has "legislated" Michigan law from the bench. One of the most egregious examples of his activism is when he changed Michigan’s Environmental Protection Act, throwing out 30 years of legal precedent and denying citizens their legal right to take action against polluters who violate the MEPA. He sided with the insurance industry 80 percent of the time and has been rated as the least prepared, least efficient, least thorough and least knowledgeable of all seven justices, according to lawyers who appear in the Supreme Court. Justice Taylor has also been under investigation for abuse of power and misconduct. How can we re-elect one of the worst judges in the nation to the highest court in our state?
On November 4th voters will have the opportunity to bring positive change to the Michigan Supreme Court by voting for Diane Marie Hathaway. With 15 years as a circuit court judge, Hathaway has demonstrated that she understands the law and will uphold it fairly and impartially. Vote for Diane Marie Hathaway on the non-partisan portion of the ballot.
I saw the Texas rankings, from 1945 to 1970, in the top, now in the bottom 10. I sent the link to the study to someone I know that works at the Texas State Bar, i thought she'd get a kick out of it.
Yeah, our Supreme Court is terrible. Plus, while they're technically "non-partisan" positions, the candidates are always very partisan -- you just don't get to see their affiliations on the ballot.
Party people distributing flyers will usually tell you, verbally, which candidates are approved.