January 19, 2017–Speaking tomorrow before the Advocates for Senior Issues

The title of the 10 a.m. talk is “I Have a Right to a Better Court” at Frederik Meijer Garden & Sculpture Park.

Here’s how it’s billed:

The late Elizabeth A. Weaver, retired Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, was a force for transparency and order. It didn’t exactly meet her expectations when she was elected to Michigan’s highest court. With the appointments and rigging of who was to join her on the bench by John Engler, then Michigan’s Governor, things got downright murky and chaotic. That set the environment for what was to become one of the most contentious periods in the history of the court. The goal of the majority while she served and even after was to silence her. It didn’t work.

I plan to show some of our 2007 film, Conflict at the Court, and to illustrate ways that the high court still fails us. Frankly, these days in the name of unanimous harmony, we don’t know what’s going on behind closed and open doors; nobody is saying anything.

As a for-instance, when they bounced Judicial Tenure Commission Executive Director Paul Fischer late last year they didn’t give a reason.


March 2, 2015 — A review by Blaine Pardoe in his “Notes from the Bunker”

As reviewer Blaine Pardoe writes, we are friends, and we have been since each one of us was honored at an annual meeting of the Historical Society of Michigan with a State History Award, he for his book Lost Eagles: One Man’s Mission to Find Missing Airmen in Two World Wars, and I for my film about Detroit’s Poet Laureate, Starbystar: Naomi Long Madgett, Poet and Publisher. Blaine bought a copy of Judicial Deceit and thoughtfully took his time reading over the book. It is, as he notes, a big book. Here is his review.

October 21, 2013 — At Central Michigan University

Chief Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver (retired) was the guest of Central Michigan University when CMU Griffin Endowed Chair Professor Gary Randall (and Clerk of the Michigan House of Representatives) convened a discussion between Justice Weaver and Professor James P. Hillof the CMU Political Science Department. The hour-and-a-half discusion included a question and answer session. At the conclusion of the event, Justive weaver was greeted with a standing ovation from an appreciative audience that included students (of course) faculty members and administrators, and the general public. Here is a recording of the event made possible by videographer and film producer Dan Bracken of CMU.


The State Bar takes a dim view of Dark Money

The State Bar of Michigan has come to the same conclusion we have of the dangers of untraceable campaign contributions for high court elections. Here's the press release from the State Bar, citing Grand Rapids attorney Bruce Courtade, president of the Bar.

There's been quite a bit written about the proposal. Here's David L. Ashenfelter's piece for Bridge. And here's Brian Dickerson's take on it in the Freep.

We don't know if the State Bar agrees with anything else in the book, but this is good for a start.