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We've just had another demonstration of what having a Republican-controlled Michigan Supreme Court is like.

"The Michigan Supreme Court - in a decision that breaks along party-lines -  has upheld a state law that will let Republicans on the Oakland County Commission redraw their district lines. The Supreme Court says the law complies with the state constitution, regardless of whether it was designed to give one party a political advantage. The Supreme Court's three Democrats dissented from the decision," Rick Pluta reports.
The Court held that this was not a "local law", which would not be legal, in spite of the fact that it affects only Oakland County, and there is strong evidence that the law was passed for partisan reasons.

This follows a long string of decisions in which the Republican majority has twisted logic into pretzels and denied the plain language of Michigan statutes in order to achieve a partisan result. Most notably, in my mind, is their holding in the Nestle Waters case in 2007 that "any person" (has standing to sue to protect the environment, in the Michigan Environmental Protection Act) does not mean "any person", but "any person with a particularized injury".

For 30 years, there was no question that MEPA empowered private citizens to enforce the environmental laws and to protect the natural resources of this State. The Michigan Supreme Court itself previously considered MEPA significant legislation which gives the private citizen a sizable share of the initiative for environmental enforcement. Eyde v. State of Michigan and the Charter Township of Delta, 393 Mich 453, 454 (1975). Sadly, the present majority of the present court, Justices Taylor, Markman, Young and Corrigan, have essentially struck down MEPA's citizen suit provision. -- Justice4Michigan

It has to be said plainly -- these folks simply make up the law to suit themselves and their corporate sponsors. They ought to wear corporate logos on their robes like race car drivers.

We have the opportunity this fall to take back the majority on the Michigan Supreme Court from the Mackinac Center, ALEC, and their ilk, and give it back to the people of  Michigan. This is a significant opportunity, that won't be back for some years, to elect three progressive justices in one election.

Uploaded with
left to right: Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Connie Kelley, Southfield District Judge Shelia Johnson, University of Michigan Law Professor Bridget Mary McCormack

Follow me past the squiggle for more on these great candidates.

Bridget Mary McCormack

    Dean of Clinical Affairs, University of Michigan Law School
    Legal Fellow, Yale Law School
    Founder, Pediatric Advocacy Clinic
    Graduate of Trinity College and New York University Law School

University of Michigan Law Professor Bridget McCormack, a mother of 4, founded the Pediatric Advocacy Clinic which promotes the health and well-being of children and families. Bridget has spent her career fighting as an advocate, representing clients who would otherwise have no access to the legal system. She is willing to take on any fight to ensure individuals have the same rights as the powerful special interests. Bridget will bring integrity and fairness to our court.

Shelia Johnson

    Chief Judge Pro Tem, 46th District Court
    Attorney, private practice – civil and criminal litigation
    Founder, Court In Schools program
    Graduate of Dartmouth College and University of Michigan Law School

Southfield District Judge Shelia Johnson created a community program to work with teens to deter criminal behavior and encourage positive career choices. As a judge, Shelia has imposed tough sentences to ensure families are protected from violent criminals. For 18 years, she defended the rights of individuals as a lawyer. She understands the need to be fair and impartial. On the Supreme Court, Shelia will uphold the law with strength and integrity for Michigan families.

Connie Marie Kelley

    Judge, 3rd Circuit Court
    Attorney, private practice – family, employment, and discrimination law
    Co-Founder, Cody Girls Make It Happen mentoring program
    Graduate of University of Michigan and Wayne State University Law School

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Connie Kelley is a mother of two who created a youth mentoring program for at-risk girls to help them achieve their full potential. Connie has demonstrated a common-sense and tough on crime approach to resolving family issues on the bench. As a lawyer, she fought for the rights of women and workers, taking on sexual harassment and discrimination cases. Connie will bring this important experience and understanding to the Supreme Court.

The next question is: How do we get these three outstanding women elected? How do we build name recognition and get across what the Supreme Court means to ordinary Michigan citizens?

I have some ideas....  Stay tuned....

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