Michigan voters to elect three Justices in 2012

Governor Snyder is appointing state Supreme Court justice Maura Corrigan to a spot in his cabinet:

Gov. Rick Snyder has named Michigan Supreme Court Justice Maura Corrigan as director of the state's Department of Human Services, calling her a "true champion of children and families."

The GOP governor said Thursday he'll name a replacement for the court before Corrigan steps down Jan. 14. Corrigan is one of four Republicans on the seven-member court and has been deeply involved in children's issues while a justice.

One aspect of this that isn't often mentioned is that this will result in a special election for this seat on the 2012 ballot. This means that we will have three seats to elect in the 2012 election - those held by Marilyn Kelly and Stephen Markman, which will be for eight-year terms (through 1/1/2021); and one for the seat held by Corrigan's yet-to-be-named successor, which will be for the remaining two years of Corrigan's 2007-2015 term. (Note that the 2-year partial term will be listed separately from the 8-year regular terms).

While we're on this topic, Justice Marilyn Kelly, a Democrat, is over 70, so she won't be able to run again. That means we will have an open seat on the Court in 2012 - one that you know the other party will contend very heavily. And you know they will campaign for all three of their candidates together, like they did for Bob Young and Mary Beth Kelly (as opposed to the fragmented approach MDP leaders took in 2010).

In 2012, what is now a 4-3 Republican majority could turn into a 4-3 Democratic majority again - or it could be a 5-2 majority for either side. Since incumbency is much less of a guarantee for incumbents than it was just a few years ago, let's see what we can make of this!

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