Editorial: For Supreme Court: Viviano, Larsen

The Detroit News

Michigan is fortunate to have a state Supreme Court that is collegial, committed to the rule of law and not divided by partisan politics. Voters should make sure it stays that way.

They can do that by voting for incumbent Justices Joan Larsen and David Viviano in the Nov. 8 election.

Too few voters actually make it to the non-partisan judicial portion of the ballot. But if they do they’ll have the opportunity to cast their votes for these two high performing justices.

Larsen and Viviano serve on a seven-member court that has become known for its ability to find a path to agreement without engaging in divisive ideological fights.

The court’s work in recent years is noteworthy for its measured approach to its role, evidencing a commitment to judicial restraint and providing stability and predictability in our state government. We have been pleased with how often the court has reached unanimous decisions, despite the diversity of its members. Larsen and Viviano have each contributed to this success and are known for their commitment to a non-partisan, independent judiciary.

Larsen, the court’s newest member, was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder and arrived with an impressive resume. After graduating first in her class at Northwestern Law School she clerked on the D.C. Circuit and the United States Supreme Court. She was a litigator in private practice, served in the Justice Department and taught for many years at the University of Michigan Law School. Her scholarly background prepared her well for the job on this particular court.

Viviano has served on the court since his appointment by Snyder in 2013 and was elected to continue serving in 2014. Formerly, he was the chief judge of the Macomb County Circuit court and an attorney with the state’s top law firms.

Larsen and Viviano play an integral part in the court’s commitment to improving service to the public. Viviano has taken the lead on efforts to use technology to increase efficiency and citizen access. The use of videoconferencing and online ticket resolution programs in addition to the imminent move to statewide e-filing are improving service. Larsen is the liaison to the treatment courts throughout the state, which are a proven success in reducing recidivism, and therefore, making communities stronger and saving taxpayer money. For example, Michigan has more Veterans Treatment Courts than any other state.

Viviano and Larsen are key members of the most effective Supreme Court in Michigan’s recent history. They should be re-elected.

Court of Appeals

Only one of the four Appeals Court districts features a competitive race. These courts resolve disputes stemming from lower court rulings.

In the 1st District, incumbent judges Kurtis Wilder and Cynthia Diane Stephens should be retained.