2012.10.31 Sybil Diccion: Supreme Court justice election is very important

Written by David Green.

One of the least talked about races in the upcoming election is that of the Michigan Supreme Court. Seven justices reign on our court but this year, there are three vacancies and in my estimation, this race is more important than that of governor. 

We all know the Michigan Supreme Court is our state's court of last resort. They hear only cases that will have a significant impact on the state and its people. Therefore, it is imperative that our chosen justices remain independent and impartial. However, recent studies by the law schools of the University of Chicago, New York University and Duke University found that the Michigan Supreme Court ranked dead last among our nation's state supreme courts when it came to the court’s independence. According to these studies, “the court's decisions reversed decades of established and honored law when they ruled in favor of corporations and the insurance industry more than any other court in the nation.”

This all began early in Governor Engler’s terms of office when tort reform swept over Michigan. According to the Resource Center in Kalamazoo, “Not only did he (Governor Engler) manage to pass unfair laws disadvantaging working people and families but he also packed our Michigan State Supreme Court with the most biased and corporative judges this state has ever seen.” From 1999 (when a conservative Republican majority was first seated) to 2008, the court had overruled 38 of its prior decisions, in contrast to the previous 10-year period 1989–1998, in which the court had overruled only eight prior decisions.    http://domemagazine.com/glazer/lg0211

Because of the shameful results of these studies, we, as thoughtful citizens, need to research the candidates and make our choices based on the history of the candidate. All too frequently, we fail to vote for supreme court justices because the names of the candidates appear on the non-partisan section of the ballot. Anyone who casts a straight party ticket on Election Day will not cast a vote for the Supreme Court unless they specifically select the non-partisan section on the reverse side of the ballot.

 

 I have deliberately spent a great deal of time looking at the candidates' backgrounds and have found the Three Supremes who have proven over and over that they take the term "non-partisan" very seriously are McCormack, Kelley and Johnson. Their selection would literally "raise the bar," thus increasing our standing once again to Number One standing in the nation.

– Sybil Diccion

Main St., Morenci

  • Front.cross
    HUDSON RUNNER Jacob Morgan looks toward the top of the hill with dismay during the tough finish at Harrison Lake State Park. Fayette runner Jacob Garrow focuses on the summit, also, during the Eagle Invitational cross country run Saturday morning. Continuing rain and drizzle made the course even more challenging. Results of the race are in this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.
  • Front.crossing
    Crossing over—Jim Heiney was given a U.S. flag to carry by George Vereecke (behind Jim in the hat), turning him into the leader of the parade. Bridge Walk participants cross over Bean Creek while, in the background, members of the Morenci Legion Riders cross the main traffic bridge on East Street South. Additional photos appear on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.hose Testing
    HOSE safety—The FireCatt hose testing company from Troy put Morenci Fire Department hose to the test Monday morning when Mill Street was closed to traffic. The company also checks nozzles and ladders for wear in an effort to keep fire fighters safe while on calls.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

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