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.little Ball
    Fayette's Demetrious Whiteside (left)Skylar Lester attempt to keep the ball from going out of bounds during Morenci's recent basketball tournament for fourth and fifth grade teams. Morenci's Andrew Schmidt stands by.
  • Front.tug
    MORENCI pep rallies generally end with a tug of war. The senior class entry, shown above, did not advance to the finals. Griffin Grieder, Alaina Webster, Kyle Long and Jazmin Smith are shown at the front of the rope, giving it their best effort.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Athletic Fields
    SPORTS COMPLEX—Fayette’s outdoor athletic facilities will include three ball fields for summer recreation leagues at the southwest corner of the school. The baseball and softball fields, along with the running track, will be constructed on the east side of the school. Outdoor athletic fields were not part of the new school project from 2007, but voters approved a $1.4 million levy for a school addition and the sports fields last August. Both projects are scheduled to be complete by July 20.
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.F.band
    TROMBONISTS Jake Myers (left) and Max Baker perform Friday at the annual Senior Citizens Luncheon at Fayette High School. The National Honor Society and the FFA chapter teamed up to serve a meal to area seniors and to provide musical entertainment. Both the school band and choir performed. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.

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