Inside and outside of Oakland

Michigan Supreme Court: Time to change selection of justices and campaign finance laws?

  At least two organizations think so.
  The Michigan Campaign Finance Network and the League of Women Voters say the November campaigns for supreme court and the amount of undisclosed money spent to influence the outcome of those races signal time for a change.
  Rich Robinson, from the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, says as much as three-quarters of the millions of dollars spent on supreme court races for issue advertising was exempt from dislosure.
  It's a phenomenon that reached down to the race for two Oakland County Circuit Court seats.
  The two groups want greater transparency in Michigan campaign finance when it comes to "issue ads" they liken to "drive-by shootings" because of their inaccuracy. They argue most voters don't know who is running for judge and deserve to make informed decisions when picking their judicial candidates.

  And they suggest it's time to change how high court justices are selected. Currently, the candidates for nonpartisan seats are selected by the two major political parties. And vacancies are filled by appointment of whoever happens to be governor.
  Even the candidates who ran for Michigan Supreme Court last year say they dislike the partisan system, though they differ on what selection system should replace it.
  With an open seat on the high court that will be filled by the governor in coming weeks, the two groups say it's time to change how replacements are picked also, suggesting that a nonpartisan commission could make recommendations to the sitting governor when vacancies arise.
  They're hosting a series of forums in February and March to draw attention to judicial selection and campaign finance.
  What's your opinion?

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