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Cameron Getto

Michigan Supreme Court finally getting the attention it so rightly deserves


The Michigan press is currently going crazy over the hypocrisy and lack of common sense exhibited by the Michigan Supreme Court. The Republican majority on the Court, commonly referred to these days as the "Gang of Four," were all appointed to one court or another by former Governor Engler. These self-described Federalist jurists fancy themselves "textualists" which is a fancy, disingenuous way of saying that they defer to the wisdom of the Legislature, except when they disagree. In those instances, they make up new law to suit their own personal political agenda.

What does this mean for you and for me? It means that instead of upholding the law as it was written and as it was intended -- laws of the people, for the people, and by the people that these jurists have taken an oath to respect -- the Gang of Four favor special interests and Republican causes, eliminating citizens' access to our courts and kicking plaintiffs out of court most of the time.

After years of complaints by trial attorneys (both plaintiff and defense) about what clearly constitutes the most conservative and disingenuous supreme court in the country, the press is finally catching on. Here's some of the latest:

Judge or Lawmaker, from the Grand Rapids Press (criticizing Justice Young for ignoring the plain text of a statute to allow special interests to pollute throughout Michigan).

Court aids foes; GOP majority's rulings fuel claims of bias, from the Flint Journal (criticizing Justice Taylor for letting a rapist/murderer out of a civil lawsuit because he successfully concealed his identity for 16 years).

Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court has a big target painted on his back, from the Morning Sun (criticizing Justice Taylor for the letting the above-mentioned rapist/murderer off the hook).

Court ruling takes teeth out of state EPA
, and Engler majority mangling state environmental law from the Traverse City Record Eagle (criticizing the Gang of Four for ignoring the state environmental protection laws).

Justices race to appease big donors (criticizing the Court for letting the rapist/murderer off the hook) and Court slams door on environmental protectors (criticizing Gang of Four for their preposterous interpretation of the law), from the Detroit Free Press.

Law no longer protects buyers, from the Lansing State Journal (criticizing the MSC for turning the Michigan Consumer Protection statute on its head to defeat its clear and unambiguous intent).

And don't forget to check out my previous posts. I've written about these wingnuts on my personal blog before here, here, and here.

For those of you residing outside of Michigan, consider this a preview of what's to come with SCOTUS. It's the same Federalist bend to Michigan's Supreme Court that's likely to turn the clock back for the rest of the country as SCOTUS gets its hands on more and more cases, providing the unique and sinister opportunity to roll back the rights of every U.S. citizen.

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Posted at 9:34 AM, Aug 02, 2007 in
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Comments

Cameron, do you consider it a coincidence that former Michigan Gov. John Engler, now president of the National Association of Manufacturers, places such emphasis on judicial appointments?

Wasn't he responsible for creating the "Gang of Four"?

And isn't he the only representative of corporate America to testify on behalf of John Roberts?

This is getting scary.

Posted by: Lee Tilson | August 5, 2007 9:50 AM

As reviled as Gov'r Engler is for killing jobs and trashing the economy in Michigan, his political tactics transcendend philosopy, and we can learn from them. Granholm has adopted his approach of elevating court appointments, i.e. elevating circuit judges to the COA, which then allows her to elevate a district judge to the circuit, and appoint a new district judge, etc. So, effective as he was at screwing up the economy and our tax base, we need to be more effective.

Posted by: trusty getto | August 9, 2007 7:51 AM