The University of Chicago Law School recently released a study ranking Supreme Courts across the nation. They used several factors in their rankings, one of which was the independence of the courts from partisan politics. Michigan’s court ranked 52nd out of 52 (some states have civil and criminal high courts), making it the least independent high court in the country, according to the University of Chicago .
Why is that worth mentioning? It is worth mentioning because the Supreme Court is set up to be a final and impartial arbiter. If it regularly succumbs to politics, it is simply not fulfilling the role it was designed to carry out. If politics run the courts, citizens are then in danger of being subject to the political ends of a small, powerful group of people, not to the rule of law. Now, this paper is only one study from a single university, so the importance of its findings should not be blown out of proportion. The importance of the Supreme Court and the necessity of the rule of law for successful governance, though, are things we would do well to keep in mind.
Thanks to MichiganMessenger.com for alerting me to this study.
<>< Josh Rule : : 2008 MCPP Intern