Letter to the Editor (March 5)

To the Editor:

Your account of the Wayne State Law School's symposium "Options for an Independent Judiciary in Michigan" (February 19, 2010), requires comment regarding missing elements in the discussion.

First, sometime soon, Professor Mark Hurwitz of the Political Science Department at Western Michigan University will be publishing a history of the Michigan Supreme Court Selection System under the sponsorship of the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society. The study I do believe will include detail of the failed efforts over the years to shift to an appointive Supreme Court in Michigan.

Second, and more importantly, a good case can be made for the election of high court judges which the symposium ignored. Professor Melinda Gann-Hall of the Michigan State University Department of Political Science has recently co-authored a book, Defense of Judicial Elections, as well as two papers, "Negativity and Television Advertising in State Supreme Court Elections" and "On the Cataclysm of Judicial Elections and Other Popular Anti-Democratic Myths." Professor Gann-Hall concludes In Defense with the observation "judicial reform advocates are not just assaulting a method for choosing judges but are also waging war on democratic process and the right of citizens to maintain control over government."

Like a coin, there are two sides to questions involving political choice.

Judge Avern Cohn

Published: Fri, Mar 5, 2010