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

  • Shadow.salon
    LEARNING THE ROPES—Kristy Castillo (left), co-owner of Mane Street Salon, works with Kendal Kuhn as Sierra Orner takes a phone call. The two Morenci Area High School juniors spent Friday at the salon as part of a job shadowing experience.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.winner
    REFEREE Camden Miller raises the hand of Morenci Jr. Dawgs wrestler Ryder Ryan as his opponent leaves the mat in disappointment. Morenci’s youth wrestling program served as host for a tournament Saturday morning to raise money for the club. Additional photos are on the back page.
  • Front.bank.2
    SHERWOOD STATE Bank opened its Fayette office at a grand opening Friday morning, drawing a large crowd to view the renovated building. Above, Burt Blue talks to teller Cindy Funk, while his wife, Jackie, looks around the new office. The Blues missed the opening and took a quick tour on Tuesday. Few traces remain of the former grocery store and theater, however, part of the original brick wall still shows in the hallway leading to the back of the building. The drive-through window should be ready for customers later in the month.
  • Front.carry.casket
    CARRYING—Riley Terry (blue jacket) and Mason Vaughn lead the way, carrying an empty casket outside to the hearse waiting at the curb. Morenci juniors and seniors visited Eagle Funeral Home last week to learn about the role of a funeral director and to understand the process of arranging for a funeral.
  • Front.lift
    MORENCI student Dalton McCowan puts everything into a dead lift attempt Saturday morning during the Wyseguy Push/Pull event. Lifters helped raise more than $1,600 for the family of the late Devin Wyse, a former Morenci power-lifter who graduated last year. Commemorative T-shirts are still available by contacting teacher Dan Hoffman.
  • Front.make.three
    FROM THE LEFT, Landon Wilkins, Ryan White and Logan Blaker try out their artistic skills Saturday afternoon at the Morenci PTO’s first Date to Create event. More than 50 people showed up to create decorated planks of wood to hang from rope. The event served as a fund-raiser for miscellaneous PTO projects. Additional photos are on the back of this week’s Observer.

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