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State of Michigan

Judicial Selection in the States: Michigan

Overview

News

New Mexico uses a unique system of judicial selection for the state s top courts (Supreme, Court of Appeals, District, and Metropolitan) that includes partisan...

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The latest effort to end merit/commission selection for Arizona s appellate courts and Superior Courts has been refiled. HCR 2030 would require partisan elections for...

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The Utah House this week approved a bill to remove the power of an executive branch agency to set evaluation criteria for the state s...

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Courtesy of the Bureau of Justice Statistics, U.S. Department of...

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The Michigan judiciary consists of the supreme court, the court of appeals, the circuit court, and various trial courts of limited jurisdiction. Judges are chosen in nonpartisan elections, but supreme court candidates may be nominated at political party conventions or by nominating petition. Incumbents may simply file an affidavit of candidacy.

The 2008 race between a Rebublican incumbent chief justice and a Democratic challenger was characterized by the Justice at Stake Campaign as the "dirtiest" of the 26 high court contests in 15 states that year. Television ads run by the incumbent's supporters described his opponent as soft on terrorists and sexual predators, while ads aired on behalf of the challenger depicted the sitting chief justice as a pawn for big business and as literally sleeping on the job. Special interests paid for nearly three fourths of the TV ads in this campaign.