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State of Michigan

Judicial Selection in the States: Michigan

Overview

News

A constitutional amendment discussed here and here to give Delaware s governor and senate more time to consider judicial nominations cleared its final hurdle. With...

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A plan discussed here to create publicly funded public forums to hear from candidates for Montana s non-partisan Supreme Court races is dead for the...

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A constitutional amendment discussed here to give Delaware s governor and senate more time to consider judicial nominations cleared the Senate last week. With House...

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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.