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CRC Column

The right to criticize government is also an obligation to know what you are talking about. 
-Lent Upson, 1st Executive Director of CRC  


Court Issues

Courts

Michigan Constitutional Issues ... Article VI -- Judicial Branch
Report 360-09 ( May 2010 ) 10 pages

The ninth in the Citizens Research Council of Michigan's series of papers about state constitutional issues focuses on the judicial branch of government -- Article VI of the 1963 Michigan Constitution.

"The judicial system is operating adequately and can continue into the future with the current constitutional provisions without pause," said Eric Lupher, CRC's Director of Local Affairs. "However, some of the issues critics identify in Article VI may rise to higher levels of importance in coming years. The increasingly political and tainted campaigns for Supreme Court justices may diminish the perception of an independent, impartial judiciary capable of dispensing justice to all. Continuance of this trend may create a rallying call to reform the methods of selecting judges."

At the November election, in addition to electing all new executive officers and the turnover that will occur in the legislature because of term limits, Michigan voters will be voting on two Supreme Court justice seats and a number of appeals court, circuit court, probate court, and district court judgeships. The election or appointment of judges is a provision of the current Constitution that a constitutional convention might consider. "A highly politicized judicial race on the non-partisan ballot may bring this issue to the forefront when voters are deciding how to vote on the question of calling a constitutional convention," said Mr. Lupher.

The 1963 Constitution made several changes to the judicial branch of government. It created the concept of "one court of justice," in which all courts are organized and judicial authority ultimately rests with the Supreme Court. The new document also established the court of appeals as an intermediate appellate court between the trial courts and the Supreme Court. These changes would likely draw the attention of a constitutional convention.

Court funding might be included among the issues considered at a convention because the cost of operating Michigan's trial court system has increased at a pace that imposes tremendous burden on the local governments - counties and cities - charged with funding responsibility.

"A unified state funding system to parallel the "one court of justice" established by the 1963 Constitution would alleviate the mandated costs that those governments must bear and enable the court system to achieve efficiencies in operations that are otherwise unobtainable," said Mr. Lupher.

pdf File Michigan Constitutional Issues ... The Judicial Branch
Report 313-8 ( September 1994 ) 4 pages [30,954 bytes]

Examines provisions of Article 6 that a constitution convention might consider: judicial branch organization and administration; whether members of the judicial branch should continue to be chosen through election; and the proper extent of state Supreme Court rulemaking authority

Judges- Selection and Compensation

pdf File State Ballot Issues, August 6, 1968
CC 806, ( July 68 ) 4 pages

State Ballot Issues:
   #1 -- Judicial Tenure Commission;
   #2 -- State Officers Compensation Commission;
   #3 -- Filling of Judicial Vacancies.

Organization of the Court System; Supreme Court and Administrator; Court of Appeals

pdf File The Organization and Funding of District Courts In Oakland County,
Report 289, ( September 88 ) 29 pages

The current district court arrangement in Oakland County creates an inequitable situation because the 52nd District Court (county-funded court) is not a self-supporting enterprise. The county general fund is required to subsidize the operations of the court. As a result, taxpayers in the third-class (locally funded) district courts, in effect, are required to pay for the operation of two district courts. Their local tax dollars are used to finance the operation of the local district court and their county tax dollars are used to finance the operation of the county-funded district court. Taxpayers in the second-class district court, however, only pay for court services once. Their county taxes are used to finance the second-class district court.

Municipal & District Courts

pdf File The Organization and Funding of District Courts In Oakland County,
Report 289, ( September 88 ) 29 pages

The current district court arrangement in Oakland County creates an inequitable situation because the 52nd District Court (county-funded court) is not a self-supporting enterprise. The county general fund is required to subsidize the operations of the court. As a result, taxpayers in the third-class (locally funded) district courts, in effect, are required to pay for the operation of two district courts. Their local tax dollars are used to finance the operation of the local district court and their county tax dollars are used to finance the operation of the county-funded district court. Taxpayers in the second-class district court, however, only pay for court services once. Their county taxes are used to finance the second-class district court.

Circuit Court & Criminal Court
Detroit Recorder's Court and Traffic Court
Probate Court and Juvenile Court Division

Judicial Procedure

PDF File The Criminal Justice System and Crime Deterrence
Report 230, ( September 76 ) 47 pages

Prompted by research which indicates that persons who commit serious crimes in Michigan are not very likely to be apprehended, convicted or punished, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, with a grant from National Bank of Detroit, requested several of the leading participants in the Michigan criminal justice system to address the question: What can be done to deter crime?

This report synopsizes the speeches of symposium speakers that included a representative of municipal government, a chief of police, a prosecuting attorney, a circuit court judge and a judge from Detroit Recorder's Court, the Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, an attorney in private practice, a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, and noted criminal justice expert James Q. Wilson.

Prosecuting Attorney

PDF File The Criminal Justice System and Crime Deterrence
Report 230, ( September 76 ) 47 pages

Prompted by research which indicates that persons who commit serious crimes in Michigan are not very likely to be apprehended, convicted or punished, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, with a grant from National Bank of Detroit, requested several of the leading participants in the Michigan criminal justice system to address the question: What can be done to deter crime?

This report synopsizes the speeches of symposium speakers that included a representative of municipal government, a chief of police, a prosecuting attorney, a circuit court judge and a judge from Detroit Recorder's Court, the Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, an attorney in private practice, a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, and noted criminal justice expert James Q. Wilson.

Corporation Counsel

Legal Profession

PDF File The Criminal Justice System and Crime Deterrence
Report 230, ( September 76 ) 47 pages

Prompted by research which indicates that persons who commit serious crimes in Michigan are not very likely to be apprehended, convicted or punished, the Citizens Research Council of Michigan, with a grant from National Bank of Detroit, requested several of the leading participants in the Michigan criminal justice system to address the question: What can be done to deter crime?

This report synopsizes the speeches of symposium speakers that included a representative of municipal government, a chief of police, a prosecuting attorney, a circuit court judge and a judge from Detroit Recorder's Court, the Director of the Michigan Department of Corrections, an attorney in private practice, a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, and noted criminal justice expert James Q. Wilson.

 

 

 

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Last Updated January 3, 2008