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Sat Oct 17, 2020, 08:03 PM

The Michigan Supreme Court is in the spotlight for striking down Whitmer's emergency powers. The bal [View all]

Voters on Nov. 3 will select two candidates to fill two seats on Michiganís seven-member court of last resort.

This nonpartisan race is farther down on the ballot, but donít be mistaken: The court wields major influence as the stateís top judicial body. Most recently, it had the final word in striking down a decades-old statute Gov. Gretchen Whitmer used to issue states of emergency and executive orders throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Nov. 3 election has the potential to dramatically change the lean of the court. In an interesting quirk, candidatesí party affiliation doesnít appear on Michiganís ballot ó although the incumbent designation does ó but political parties do nominate candidates at their August conventions.

Currently, the court has a majority of four justices nominated by Republicans and three nominated by Democrats. Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack was nominated by Democrats in 2012, but was elected chief justice this term, as the court has been more collegial in recent years. While some Republicans were critical of that choice, the GOP majority has remained firm on cases like the emergency powers decision.

Justices serve eight-year terms. McCormackís current term will end Jan. 1 and she is running for reelection. Democrats also nominated attorney Elizabeth Welch. Justice Stephen Markman, who was nominated by Republicans, will step down due to the courtís age restriction, which says those 70 or older canít run again, leaving an open seat. Republicans have nominated Judge Brock Swartzle an attorney Mary Kelly.


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Reply The Michigan Supreme Court is in the spotlight for striking down Whitmer's emergency powers. The bal [View all]
RandySF Oct 2020 OP
SheltieLover Oct 2020 #1
BComplex Oct 2020 #2
crickets Oct 2020 #3
roamer65 Oct 2020 #4