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    Who are the NERD fund donors Mr Snyder?

    Raise the curtain.

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    Welcome Aboard, Mr. Turner . . . (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by Kevin Rex Heine on Tue Aug 28, 2012 at 11:45:25 AM EST
    . . . it's interesting that you show up as the state convention race for the SCOMI vacancy nomination heats up, but before I digress:

    Does one bad decision a bad judge make - of course not.  Is M.B. Kelly another David Souter?  We don't know yet - we've only had a year and a half of "court watching" to gauge her by.  Jane Markey has participated in at least 4,891 decisions and opinions (as of 31 July 2012) since taking the Court of Appeals bench in 1995.  Conservatives may take issue with a few of these thousands of opinions.  The point is, the overwhelming preponderance of evidence is that Jane Markey is a solid rule of law judge.  People do need to be informed regarding judicial philosophy and Jane Markey is not just an "open book," she is an "open library."

    Following the rule of law is a philosophy.  From this philosophy comes a process of analysis.  From this process comes a conclusion.  It is the philosophy and the process which marks a rule of law judge - not just the conclusion.  Liberal judges start from the conclusion they want to reach and work backwards and fashion a justification.  Applying the rule of law when interpreting or applying the constitution or statutes can lead to different conclusions by conservative judges.  For example, People v. Rapp, decided July 27, 2012, by the SCOMI, involved the constitutionality of an MSU ordinance (and will be the subject of a later article in this series).  Young and MB Kelly joined the empathy wing in striking down the ordinance.  Zahra dissented and was joined by Markman.  Zahra's comment in dissent on the majority opinion was enlightening:

    "This Court is responsible for upholding both the Michigan and federal constitutions, but its authority to invalidate laws is limited and must be predicated on a clear and apparent demonstration of unconstitutionality.  Absent that demonstration, the majority's decision, in my judgment, is an expansion of judicial power and an unwarranted encroachment on the legislative branch of government."

    Whether this is a good or bad outcome is not the point - it is how the outcome was reached that matters.  We can debate the EFM / PA4 case all day long, both as to judicial approach and conclusion.  The point is that we have something to debate because we have something to read which gives some insight into judicial philosophy.  Without something to read and analyze, we are left with slogans and "trust me" pronouncements.

    I could not agree more that "people need to be informed" and ask questions.  In my opinion, the evidence is still coming in on MB Kelly, but in regard to Jane Markey the verdict is effectively renderable.  With Colleen O'Brien (or any other Circuit Court Judge for that matter), presentation of the evidence has not even begun.  All we have is an "opening statement" by the judge and her proponents.  The gamble is making an important decision such as this based upon what some say the "evidence" will show.  The risk, in my opinion, is far too great.


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