Here's the thing. Politics has been a part of the judiciary for years. It was kept hush-hush instead of out in the open, but it's there. Governors appoint judges when there is a vacancy. How did Brennan get the post? To put it bluntly, she bought it - with $3500 to Granholm's campaign ($100 of it is to a leadership PAC, $3400 to her gubenatorial campaign - so it IS legal and not over the $3400 limit) and over $5000 to extremist Debbie Stabenow. $1500 to MI List - Michigan's version of radical Emily's List, didn't hurt either. Neither did her party donations.
Now right or wrong, a lot of lawyers who have judicial asperations always give money to likely winners or incumbents in gubenatorial and presidential races. It's part of politics. Some republican lawyers donated for Granholm for that reason - consideration for a judgeship. "That's how the game is played." Many longtime members of one party will all of a sudden show up at opposite party fundraisers when it is an election year or close to one - in an attempt to show a "nonpartisan" card. Brennan did that. So did current Judge Dave Reader. It's no secret that Brennan is a democrat. It's no secret that Reader is a republican. I doubt that's changed. That's part of judicial politics, and it happens for district court all the way up to Supreme Court. I'm not saying that I agree with it. I don't. The point I'm making is that judiciary is already extremely political, even if the politics are not out in the open.
The good thing in Michigan as opposed to Federal Court, is that judges have to face the people in elections. If judges were not political, we wouldn't have elections for them in August and November. If legislating from the bench isn't an issue, then judicial confirmations would not be such a major issue in Congress. Back in 2000, we had the "Markman, Taylor, and Young. Oh My!" ads from the MDP (Michigan Democrat Party). The MDP injected partisan politics into a judicial race. The Republicans counters and supported Markman, Taylor, and Young. They also injected partisan politics into a judicial race - at the highest court in the state. I've seen it to a lesser degree in state appeals races. Today's appeals judges and Supreme Court Judges usually start at the district, circuit, or probate level. That's the top reason why judicial activist views are so important even at these "lower" levels.
I disagree with the Argus here on 1/2 of this statement - in bold.
Voters likely want District Court judges who make rulings based on evidence and the law. Those aren't partisan attributes.
I agree about voters supporting judges who make rulings based on law and evidence. That IS increasingly a partisan issue. It's certainly a political issue and conservative issue. Legislating from the bench is one of the biggest complaints by conservatives. I'm sure we all remember when SCOTUS Judges Ginsburg, Breyer, and O'Conner used European law as basis for a US Constitutional issues. Europe should have nothing to do with this. That's legislating from the bench, and it is wrong, and it needs to be eliminated - at all levels of government.
We all have a choice this year. That was Jay's point that started all this controversy. Livingston County did not vote for Granholm or Stabenow. Granholm picked our judge. Now we decide as voters who WE want as our judge. Whatever the case, at least the voters make the final decision this year, not Granholm.