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  1. #1

    Default There has to be a better way to elect/select judges...

    My Wayne County ballot -

    Select no more than 16... There were 16 names.
    Select no more than 3... There were 3 names.
    Select no more than 1... There was 1 name.

    We now have a Michigan Supreme Court Justice who has never served as a judge and has never tried a case.

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by GPCharles View Post
    My Wayne County ballot -

    Select no more than 16... There were 16 names.
    Select no more than 3... There were 3 names.
    Select no more than 1... There was 1 name.

    We now have a Michigan Supreme Court Justice who has never served as a judge and has never tried a case.
    Quite a few of our most influential SCOTUS justices were never judges. (about a third all time weren't judges prior to being tapped)
    Last edited by bailey; November-05-14 at 11:17 AM.

  3. #3

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    Only the incumbents ran. If you don't like it, you are always free to run. Personally, I would not want to be a judge.

  4. #4

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    There should be a better way. Judges should be nominated by the governor, chosen from those eligible in the particular district for district court judges, circuit, and statewide for supreme court. The legislature should then confirm them. They should be appointed for only one term of 6-7 years. No consecutive terms. A district judge could later be a circuit judge, etc. Plus, returning judges to private practice, or at least the legal community, should prevent judges from becoming too out of touch.

    Judges should not have to campaign and therefore take donations which could influence their decisions. Imagine if SCOTUS judges were elected? Most people in the state have zero interaction with the supreme court, how they can decide if someone is doing a good job or not?

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by detlump View Post
    There should be a better way. Judges should be nominated by the governor, chosen from those eligible in the particular district for district court judges, circuit, and statewide for supreme court. The legislature should then confirm them. They should be appointed for only one term of 6-7 years. No consecutive terms. A district judge could later be a circuit judge, etc. Plus, returning judges to private practice, or at least the legal community, should prevent judges from becoming too out of touch.

    Judges should not have to campaign and therefore take donations which could influence their decisions. Imagine if SCOTUS judges were elected? Most people in the state have zero interaction with the supreme court, how they can decide if someone is doing a good job or not?
    Can you tell us if either party has discussed this issue? Should we be someone on?

  6. #6
    thoro Guest

    Default

    [QUOTE=GPCharles;457957]My Wayne County ballot -

    Select no more than 16... There were 16 names.
    Select no more than 3... There were 3 names.
    Select no more than 1... There was 1 name.


    I read the same thing and was dismayed. I left that part blank....what's the point.
    Hey, look to the bright side....."reverend" murray got re-elected to the DPS school board. I didn't vote for him.

  7. #7

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    In the batch of 16 there was the name of a certain judge that owns a certain
    building downtown that really needs maintenance. So that this judge may
    better find the time to fix the building by not having to tend to judgely duties,
    I painstakingly voted for all 15 of these other justices then wrote in a local
    defense attorney's name (who I didn't notify, so if this attorney were to be
    elected it would be a complete shock).

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by detlump View Post
    There should be a better way. Judges should be nominated by the governor, chosen from those eligible in the particular district for district court judges, circuit, and statewide for supreme court. The legislature should then confirm them. They should be appointed for only one term of 6-7 years. No consecutive terms. A district judge could later be a circuit judge, etc. Plus, returning judges to private practice, or at least the legal community, should prevent judges from becoming too out of touch.
    When there is a vacancy this is what happens. It is then up to the judges to get re-elected.
    http://judgepedia.org/Judicial_selection_in_Michigan

  9. #9

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    Read the Free Press blog on the Bob Bashara trial. Talk about a hard working judge (sarcasm).

  10. #10

    Default

    I agree that it's ridiculous to be electing judges. We kind of do that anyway by electing representatives who appoint judges. There should be one branch of government that is not beholden to the often nonsensical whims of the electorate, or to special interests, but only to their own judgment and principals.

    It's absurdly difficult in 2014 to simply find information about most of these races. I try to be an informed voter, look at the ballot early on mi.gov, try to find out something about these people, visit websites. It's nearly pointless to visit candidates' official sites since they're usually so neutral and noncommittal that they're interchangeable. So you love your country and you have a wife and kids. That makes 95% of the population qualified. There is so little out there. The best source of information I have found is the League of Women Voters website. It must have been really difficult before the internet. If I can't find enough information I just leave that part of the ballot blank. For that reason alone a lot of positions, especially important ones like judges, should not be on the ballot.

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KarmicCurse View Post
    I agree that it's ridiculous to be electing judges. We kind of do that anyway by electing representatives who appoint judges. There should be one branch of government that is not beholden to the often nonsensical whims of the electorate, or to special interests, but only to their own judgment and principals.

    It's absurdly difficult in 2014 to simply find information about most of these races. I try to be an informed voter, look at the ballot early on mi.gov, try to find out something about these people, visit websites. It's nearly pointless to visit candidates' official sites since they're usually so neutral and noncommittal that they're interchangeable. So you love your country and you have a wife and kids. That makes 95% of the population qualified. There is so little out there. The best source of information I have found is the League of Women Voters website. It must have been really difficult before the internet. If I can't find enough information I just leave that part of the ballot blank. For that reason alone a lot of positions, especially important ones like judges, should not be on the ballot.
    Once upon a time, voters looked to impartial groups like the "League of Woman Voters" for good advice on judges. Unfortunately, we've allowed our parties and networks to seize the debates and get the impartial folks out of the way.

    But there still are good organization to guide you in choosing candidates who deserve your vote. The local papers are a great start. Or your Union or trade association. Many more good people out there endorsing and sharing. Toss aside the partisan Fox News sorts, and follow the advice of someone who has the time and experience to endorse. Read a lot. Take their endorsement list to the poll with you. And vote.

    The current system sucks. But not as much as other appointment systems where the insiders can make all the deals in smoke-filled room. The pendulum has swung a little too far towards populism and direct democratic engagement -- but when the pendulum was the other way towards appointments and insider control it was just a different kind of bad.

    btw, isn't it fully that so many are calling for ending voting for judges while bitching about the removal of Detroit elected officials by gubernatorial appointment?

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