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Poplin: Does voting keep scales of justice level?

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Many of you noticed — based on the feedback we received —  that The Ann focused on the Washtenaw County court system in our June issue (“Black Robe Syndrome”). The article, written by veteran journalist Tom Clynes, described an out-of-touch judicial leadership. A lot of people told us we were anything but fair ourselves; they mostly said Clynes was biased because he’d had a bad experience in the very court he described and things weren’t nearly as awful as he described. Others thought Clynes’ experience gave him added insight and he got it right.

It was revealing that few of the people quoted by Clynes in that article, and who congratulated him publicly afterward, were willing to give their names. They fear their complaints could come back to haunt them in any future dealings with the court. We’re not sure if that’s the case, and certainly hope it’s not, but it’s revealing that they believe it to be the case. Isn’t it?

Clynes is back this month with more about the local courts. But this story is different. Where the first installment was about problems, this one is about solutions. We hear from all eight judge candidates who are in competitive races on the Aug. 5 primary ballot, getting their ideas about leadership and the system, and also look at the concept of electing judges. Is a popular vote the best way to keep the scales of justice level?

Admittedly, we ask more questions than we answer. That’s where you come in. Help us think our way through these issues of fairness and the best way to seat judges. It’s your system and only you can change it.

Kyle Poplin

Kyle Poplin is co-founder and editor of The Ann magazine.

1 Comment

  1. John Q Public

    September 19, 2014 at 12:14 pm

    Kudos to the theann for staying with this issue, as I am currently facing the same hurdles as Mr. Clynes, perhaps more so, in my efforts to simply modify an out dated court order in the Washtenaw County family court, under a current Judge who was recently appt. by Gov. Snyder. I find it telling that the same institutional mindset, of mother’s know best, doesn’t seem to change with the Judges, at least in my case. I hope Tom Clynes will continue to write about this very important issue and how shared parenting is actually in the best interest of the child.

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