Arts & Entertainment
The 'Three Supremes' to Star at LGBT Event in Royal Oak
By Jan Stevenson
Originally printed 8/16/2012 (Issue 2033 - Between The Lines News)
ROYAL OAK -
In one of the most important races for Michigan's LGBT people this November, three seats are up for grabs on the Michigan Supreme Court. BTL is strongly supporting the three chosen by the Michigan Democratic Party, Southfield District Court Judge Shelia Johnson, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Connie Marie Kelley, and University of Michigan Law Professor Bridget Mary McCormack. They will appear at a Supreme Challenge Fundraiser on Aug. 21 in Royal Oak at the Black Finn at 5:30 p.m., an LGBT fundraiser to support the "Three Supremes."
Michigan Supreme Court justices are elected on a nonpartisan ballot but usually are placed on that ballot by one of the two major parties. The three candidates selected by the Michigan Democratic Party each have strong records of support for LGBT issues. The two Republican incumbents, Stephen J. Markman and Brian R. Zahra will be joined by a third Republican Party-backed candidate selected at the party convention in August. Markman and Zahra have consistently voted against LGBT rights, including the controversial decision last year to strip partner benefits from public employees.
In recent years, nominations have tended to become more ideological and campaigns for the court nastier. Three years ago, the University of Chicago law school released a study ranking the nation's state supreme courts. Michigan's was dead last. The study concluded that the court was bitterly partisan and little respected for its decisions.
Johnson, speaking to a Democratic meeting in Adrian in May, said many of the decisions in recent years have been on 4-3 votes, split along party lines with Republicans in the majority. "Decisions in the past 10 to 15 years have been purely on a political agenda, rather than by the actual letter of the law,"Johnson said. "The court should reflect a balance of views of the people in Michigan."
For more information about the Supreme Challenge Fundraiser call 248-290-1427 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.