The Weight of an Opinion: A Critical Analysis of the Michigan State Supreme Court Selection Model
Date of Award
State high courts, unlike the federal Supreme Court, have practices and processes that are unique, to some extent, to each of the 50 states. Within these processes, the method of selection for Supreme Court justices is a defining characteristic of a state's judicial culture. The Michigan State Supreme Court selection method is unlike any other selection process in the United States and offers a compelling representation of the influence that politics can have on a state judiciary. Under the Michigan method of judicial selection, candidates for the Supreme Court are required to receive nominations at state political-party conventions, then campaign for election, all under the guise of a "nonpartisan" election based model. The analysis of this selection model, in consideration ofrelated factors such as campaign spending, rates of dissent, and judicial philosophy polarity, aims to consider whether the Michigan Method of "nonpartisan" judicial elections may be contributing to politicization of the judiciary. In addition to these related factors, my thesis offers a close reading of relevant case documents, in order to represent the existence of politicization within the personal writings of justices.
Sheehy, Kelly Ann, "The Weight of an Opinion: A Critical Analysis of the Michigan State Supreme Court Selection Model" (2022). Senior Theses. 1610.
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