Michigan has over 600 judges in Michigan, varying from Probate, District, Municipal, Circuit, Claims, Appeals and Supreme Court. Unlike the Supreme Court, which serves the whole state, these courts serve specific regions and areas within our state.
But the good news is that not all Judges are up for election on November 6, 2012, therefore all citizens will have different races to consider. Some citizens will only have to vote on the Michigan Supreme Court.
To discover if you have additional Judges to consider, please visit your sample ballot here: www.michigan.gov/vote.
Some races will not have contended seats. You will notice that some court races have 4 seats up for election and only 4 candidates running. Where there are contested races, please consider the following:
- An ideal Judge will rule by the law not by empathy or an activist agenda. An ideal Judge rules according to the written law and does not make decisions based on their own personal bias. So when you seek out a Judicial candidates’ positions on certain issues, do not be surprised if you do not find any. Their personal opinion should not influence their Judicial ruling.
- Seek out their website, social media page and glean what you can from their information
- Look for organizations supporting or groups and individuals endorsing either via their website or via the organization you are interested in (i.e. visit www.rtl.org‘s sample ballot for Right to Life’s endorsement on different leaders).
- Contact the candidate and ask them questions like: How do you define your worldview? Who are your favorite Supreme Court Justices (i.e. if they support Anthony Scalia, it is likely they are rule of law mindset; if they support Ruth Bader Ginsberg look for them to have a more liberal worldview)? What magazines do you subscribe to (this tells you of their interests)?
- Explore financial contributions to the campaign.
- Seek out others in the legal profession that you trust and get their opinions on the Judicial candidates.
- Share your research with others in your district.
Judges are very important because our freedoms oftentimes are hindered at the bench. Because there are so many Judges in Michigan, no one organization can assess them all but we can help you become an expert on those ruling from court benches in your district. So few people understand the Judges, that once you get armed with information and educate a few people, you can drastically influence an election by only a few votes.
Hope this helps! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for specific questions.