Supreme Court Race Key to Redistricting

By: Katie Kim Email
By: Katie Kim Email

Talks of backroom deals and double standards fill the latest ads in a nasty supreme court race.

The Michigan Democratic Party claims incumbent Justice Bob Young may be violating state law by living in another state.

"This is about his wife saying he's living in Milwaukee. This is not about split time," says MDP Chairman Mark Brewer.

The state republicans are firing back, stating Democratic incumbent Alton Davis was offered a political favor. Governor Granholm announced Davis' appointment this summer on the same day Republican Justice Betty Weaver resigned.

"That was another backroom deal, the kind of deals we need to get rid of in politics," says Michigan Republican Party Chairman Ron Weiser.

Currently, Democratic justices outnumber their conservative counterparts 4-3. Bill Rustem from Public Sector Consultants says that lead is safe if both incumbents are re-elected.

"They get to have the designation 'Justice of the Supreme Court' under their name," says Rustem. "They have that added incumbency advantage."

Now whichever party gains control of the Supreme Court will be of utmost importance this year. Justices have the final say in the redrawing of state district lines. It happens every year after the census, and analysts say it could define the legislative makeup for the next decade.

"You can draw the lines differently, where the lines go, to influence whether the seat is likely to be Republican or likely to be Democratic in future elections," Rustem says.

He also tells us it has many implications for voters.

"What district they live in, what representation they will have, and what sort of decisions will be made in Lansing that will affect their daily lives," Rustem says. "It is crucial from a lot of perspectives."

Voters will make the call come judgment day.

Michigan will lose one congressional seat in the redistricting process due to declining population.

The candidates for Supreme Court Justices are as follows:
D - Alton Davis (i)
R - Bob Young (i)
D - Denise Langford
R - Mary Beth Kelly
Ind - Bob Roddis

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