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November 02, 1984 - Image 17

Resource type:
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Publication:
The Michigan Daily, 1984-11-02
Note:
This is a tabloid page

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C O U R T S
Controversy shrouds highcourt race

E D U C A T I

hammered
ministrators.
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out earlier by ad-
a controversial issue is

By Thomas Hrach
N PAST YEARS, the election of justices
for the Michigan Supreme Court has
caused little debate among voters. But
this year, one contest has brought par-
tisan politics and the resulting con-
troversy into therace.
The contest between Dorothy Coi-
stock Riley and incumbent Thomas
Kavanaugh has raised serious
questions about the procedure for elec-
ting justices.
The trouble began during the last
days of former Republican Gov.
William Milliken's term. After the
death of Justice Blair Moody, Milliken
appointed Riley to fill the vacancy.
But Moody had just been reelected to
the court, and the Democrats argued
that Milliken could not make the ap-
pointment since Moody's new term
would not have started until Milliken
left office.
The case went before the court which,
with Riley abstaining, voted in favor of
the Democrats and struck down Riley's
appointment. New Gov. James Blan-

chard then chose Patricia Boyle of
Detroit to fill the seat which Riley had
held for only 69 days.
Riley's press secretary, Gary Mit-
chell, called the entire incident "a
charade."
Part of the problem begins within the
party conventions which nominate can-
didates for the court, because after the
conventions the candidates are supposed
to run the campaign on a non-partisan
basis.
"The process of running for the state
Supreme Court as it stands now puts the
candidates in an awkward role," said
Mitchell. "We force them to be
nominated at a party convention then
we tell them to forget their party af-
filiation in the general election."
At last summer's state Republican
convention, Riley easily acquired the
nomination of the party to oppose
Thomas Kavanaugh, who voted to oust
Riley less than two years ago.
Kavanaugh, who is running for another
eight-year term, still insists that the
decision was not a political one, but
rather a proper interpretation of the

state constitution.
"I have complained about un-
professional conduct in the court," said
Kavanaugh, "but I would never accuse
a judge of making a political decision
while sitting on the court."
Kavanagh admitted that no method
of selection is a guarantee of quality
people for the court, but he did feel that
a better sytem would allow the gover-
nor to nominate candidates and have
the state legislature aprove them. This
selection process is similar to the way
justices are chosen for the U.S.
Supreme Court.
"All the judges in the State of
Michigan are elected, but only the
Supreme Court Justices are nominated
by a party," said Kavanaugh. "The
present method of selecting a justice
slows down the work of the court, while
an appointive system is much more
economical."
Riley also disapproves of the present
system of selecting jduges, but she
disagrees on whether the court makes
political decisions because of the party
involvement. Press Secretary Mitchell
advised the state legislature to "put the
cards on the table" and allow the
judges to run a partisan election if the
District court j
THE STATE of Michigan is divided
into 100 district courts with a total
of 244 judges, and Ann Arbor is served
by the 15th district.
Different divisions of the district
court include civil, traffic and ordinan-
ce, real estate, and criminal.
District courts have exclusive
jurisdiction over civil cases up to
$10,000; criminal misdemeanor cases
where punishment does not exceed one
year; the arraignment, setting, and ac-
ceptance of bail; preliminary

state will not aprove an appointive
system.
On the campaign trail, Riley is haun-
ted by questions concerning her
removal from the court. According to
her press secretary she would rather
talk about the poor performance of the
court but is caught in a "Catch 22"
because her removal from the court has
been the major issue of the campaign.
Because the state constitution
requires an appointed judge to run for
reelection at the next general election,
Boyle must win in this year's election in
order to finish her eight-year term.
Former Republican Sen. Robert Griffin
of Traverse City will try to unseat Boyle
in an effort to revive his political
career.
The resignation of Justice Mary
Coleman in late 1982 allowed the former
governor to give former Lieutenant
Governor James Brickley a seat on the
court. Brickley, of Okemos, is running
to complete the four-year term to which
he was appointed. Wayne County Cir-
cuit Court Judge James Hathaway op-
poses Brickley as the Democratic
nominee. Brickley spent three years as
president of Eastern Michigan Univer-
sity in the mid-70s.

brought to the board, the University's
executive officers speak privately to
the regents to iron out any problems
they might have with a proposal. The
regents also call or meet in private with
each other to exchange opinions.
"There's nothing to stop individual
regents from discussing things," said
Regent James Waters (D-Muskegon).
"I can call up Regent (Paul) Brown (D-
Petosky) and then hang up and call
every other regent."
Most of the decisions on major
policies are arrived at beforehand,
Waters said, because otherwise the
regents' two day-long meetings would
last "all week."

As a result, the public meetings held
in the Fleming Administration Building
usually run smoothly as the regents ap-
prove requests presented to them with
little debate. But this isn't always the
case.
Last March the board asked
President Harold Shapiro to issue a
policy statement forbidding
discrimination against gays in offices
and classrooms, but Regent Deane
Baker (R-Ann Arbor) tried to block the
move by reading a long letter arguing
against the policy.
And in 1983 the regents voted down a
set of guidelines which would have ex-
tended to unclassified research the
University's prohibition of classified
research "the primary purpose of

which. . . is the destruction of human
life" even though the rules were sup-
ported by faculty and students.
Current board members say they
spend 10-15 hours a week pouring over
the fat packet of documents and ar-
ticles sent to them each month or
responding to inquiries from students
or other members of the University
community.
The two Libertarian candidates offer
a special viewpoint to the election on
the University: they would like to see it
made private. Because the Libertarian
Party generally opposes excessive
governmental tax or regulation, they
would end the University's dependence
on state tax dollars and instead secure

revenue
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unopposed

FRIDAY, FEB. 22 - MONDAY, MAR. 4

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examinations in felony cases; handling
of garnishments, land contract, and
mortgage foreclosures, and
proceedings such as evictions.
Judges, who can not run for the
position past the age of 70, are elected
to six-year terms.
Incumbent Pieter Thomassen is the
only candidate for the 15th District
Court. Thomassen declined a telephone
interview.
-Meg Reutter

MARJORIE LANSING
Democrat
A well-known authority on women in politics,
Lansing, 68, is a professor and former depar-
tment head of political science at Eastern
Michigan University. She plans to retire next
fall. A resident of Ann Arbor, she received her
doctorate from the University.-Her late husband
was one of the founders of the University's In-
stitute for Social Research.

VERONICA LATTA SMITH
Republican
A University graduate herself, Smith, 59, has
sent six children here and has served six years
on the board of governors of Martha Cook Dor-
mitory. A resident of Grosse Ile, Smith is a sub-
stitute teacher for the Wyandotte and Trenton
schools and a former manager and co-owner of a
life insurance agency.

BETTE ERWIN
Libertarian

Erwin, 47, is a member of the graduate faculty
at The Center for Humanistic Studies in Detroit
and in private practice as a psychotherapist. A
resident of Oak Park, she is a former associate
professor of psychology at the University's
Dearborn campus and at Wayne State Univer-
sity.

Wi
Kreba
Church i
of Ann A
tarian i
cessfully
Congres
Universi

Corner of Liberty and Maynard

769-9011

-ONO

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Lansing said she doesn't know enough about Smith said she could understand both the ad- "I have extreme concerns about it. It would "My v
the code to take a position and did not want to ministration's need for a code and students' ob- have a chilling effect on students.. . and is poten- students
lock herself into voting a certain way before she jections to the latest draft. She said the Univer- tially a real violation of civil liberties... I see no Krebaun
was elected. Although she said she is an ardent sity should protect itself against lawsuits that reason for it.. . If students break the law they are laws ad
supporter of civil liberties, she said she was also might arise out of negligence by punishing already ways to handle that.. . If students are duct. 'I
sympathetic to the administration's need for students for misconduct outside the classroom. protesting in a non-violent way, then that's a stifle dis
non-academic conduct rules. good thing."
"I think it would be absolutely devastating to "It's a message the people of Michigan have
the University. Do you know what it would do to been trying to send to the state legislature for The a
"I'm o0 percent opposed to Proposal C. I call tuition? Do you know what I paid? Sixty dollars two years... The tax revolt is alive and well. tinue to
it 'Proposal Catastrophe.' The tax revolt is very a term. .. Students would have to make up th That leaves the university endangered." She time fo
serious, in many ways, one of the most (University's budget) deficit. And if we take would look for an alternative to hiking tuition if thinkin
threatening items on the November ballot." away (state legislators') powers, I don't see how the proposal passes, but said that she isn't will be c
thycnrpeetus." familiar enough with the University budget to
they can represent sknow where changes should be made.
The University must press state legislators to "I think (state legislators) have to be constan- If ele
put higher education on the top of the priority list tly reminded of the priorities of higher "One of the things we (Liberterians) are making
for funding, Lansing said. She organized a cam- education." Smith said she would press the state always interested in is moving things to the for how
paign to fight budget cuts to the University's Con- not only for more aid, but also larger tax credits private sector. If the U-M could move its funding backs is
tinuing Education for Women program when it to people who donate money to the University. sources to the private sector, it is a lot more tion in t
was reviewed two years ago and said she is Tax credits would encourage young alumni to likely to be more stable.. . The funding of public faculty :
against further retrenchment or tuition hikes. start giving when they graduate. education is endangered." might b
Lansing said the proposed charter amendment Smith said the proposed charter amendment "I'm in favor of nuclear technology. . . People "The 1
is "badly conceived" and wouldn't help the "bans academic freedom and intellectual are understanding the emphasis of nuclear a cog in
nuclear freeze because companies that conduct freedom." The proposal is also too general and energy in the future and that research is impor- sret r
weaponsreasea and deelpmenhtwillol"would hurt the city's economy by taking away tant to developing that energy... I'm unfamiliar gernn
i "It'scsome companies main source of revenue. She with the details of (the proposed charter amen- don't th
amrorthe",othe a geat t deal fan ople who also said a commission would be an inadequate dment), but I have the impression that it would campus
ar o tefeeeagra ea fanit.means of regulating the ban. affect energy sources."
The h
"The University should go as far as it can in "(University officials) have got to make them .U.es
meeting the 10 percent goal... All of us have to aware that we do have support programs here. I "I'm not sure (University admrtistrators) a wides
make a commitment." Lansing urged the think the high tuition scares many (black students) should go very far in meeting the 10 percent goal. sity alot
University to increase admission and retention away... It really is my feeling that they have to ". Whenever you get into quotas, you're getting ports ti
of black students. And she attacked affirmative have some program in the high schools to encourage into racism. .. The energy should be put into retrain
action policies for the lack of women in key them, to motivate them" to come to the University. recruiting, especially in black high schools." them.
departmental and administrative posts. Univers
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18 Weekend/Friday, November 2, 1984

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