Thursday, November 15, 2007
MO Non-Partisan Court Plan - better than Michigan
Wanna know why we love the Missouri Plan - because it is better than Michigan. Michigan has partisan elections of judges (which is what Jeff Roe, the Adam Smith Foundation and Gov. Matt Blunt want).
In Michigan they are anticipating a $20 million dollar race for a single Supreme Court position (see article below). The people donating are not seeking neutral, fair justice. They donate because they want to purchase their brand of justice. Is that what we want in Missouri?
Let's think about Enterprise Rent a Car (the folks from St. Louis who opposed the Sprint Arena (and by flawed logic, Garth Brooks)). Enterprise Rent a Car is actively engaged in the Missouri legislative process. Enterprise got sued for telling an accountant to not follow IRS regulations on how to depreciate cars. Enterprise lost and did not like the ruling (Dunn v. Enterprise). So, they tried to get it overturned in the legislature (SB 168). When that didn't work, Matt Blunt appoints Don Ross, Enterprise VP, to the appellate judicial nominating commission. For those frothing at the mouth for more partisanship in the selecting of judges - be happy. Matt Blunt is doing his best to pack the judicial commission with ultra conservative agendas. If the people of Missouri vote him back into office, like they voted Ashcroft to back-to-back terms, then he can do it.
By Stuart Frohm
Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford W. Taylor was the mystery speaker at today's Midland County Republican Party fundraising breakfast.
Diane Bristol, the county party's chairperson, said last week that a statewide candidate she couldn't announce was among the scheduled speakers.
Other speakers were the Rev. Keith Butler of Southfield, possible future member of the Republican National Committee; state Republican Chairman Saul Anuzis; Midlanders U.S. Rep. Dave Camp, state Sen. Tony Stamas and state Rep. John Moolenaar; and state Rep. Bill Caul of Mount Pleasant.
Caul announced that he will be a candidate for re-election. This term he had a mild stroke and was treated for prostate cancer. He represents the 99th District, which includes parts of Midland County and all of Isabella County. He is seeking his third consecutive two-year term -- the last House term the state's term limit would allow him.
Taylor said his own re-election is important to keep conservatives in the majority on the court, with the court's 4-3 split. He said he does not yet know who Democrats will nominate to run against him next year.
In Michigan, candidates for judicial seats appear on the ballot without party labels.
On Oct. 22, a statement from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network said Taylor and Democratic Party Chairman Mark Brewer both raised the possibility of a $20 million campaign next year when Taylor seeks a second full term on the court.
Taylor, a Flint native, was appointed to the court in August 1997 by then-governor John Engler to succeed Justice Dorothy Comstock Riley, who retired.
Taylor was elected in 1998 to fill the balance of Riley's term. Taylor was re-elected to a full eight-year term in 2000 and was elected chief justice by colleagues in January 2005.
Engler appointed him to the state Court of Appeals in 1992.
More on the Republican breakfast is planned for publication in a future edition of the Daily News.