Weaver v. Taylor in November MSC contest? Nutty speculation points to painful truth

Picture this: Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver resigns from the court. Weaver then announces her candidacy to regain a seat on the court by butting heads with Chief Justice Clifford Taylor in the November election.

This “would have been one heck of a battle between two jurists who are not, shall we say, the best of friends,” writes veteran Capitol newshound and pundit Tim Skubick in today’s Lansing State Journal.

The unattributed scenario Skubick offers is, of course, punditry fever-dreaming at its best. And, Skubick says, when Weaver was asked about it, she said the thought never crossed her mind and labeled it as “laughable.”

Meanwhile, Michigan Democratic Party Chair Mark Brewer and his minions continue the hunt for a Democratic candidate to face Taylor this fall.

A couple of weeks ago, Brewer appeared on Skubick’s public television “Off the Record” program to face an all-star reporters’ panel: Bill Ballenger of Inside Michigan Politics; Kathy Barks Hoffman of The Associated Press and Charlie Cain of The Detroit News. (Broadcast available here. Brewer’s segment starts about 15 minutes into the program).

Ballenger put Brewer right on the hot seat by declaring that Brewer’s biggest problem was that his party didn’t have a candidate, that the only two folks who could beat Taylor, Governor Jennifer Granholm and former Governor Jim Blanchard, weren’t running, and, as a result, Brewer was reduced to the strategy of painting Taylor as a villain.

It was almost painful to watch Brewer meekly respond that he was “very close” to naming a candidate. Since then, Brewer says a candidate has been selected, he’s just not saying who, just yet.

Skubick says Brewer’s candidate could be

“Marietta Robinson, a private lawyer from Oakland County who took on Taylor once before and lost. She has a long list of demands for her candidacy, but as one insider put it, ‘She would give Cliff heartburn.’ The governor’s office would be comfortable with Robinson, too.”

We’ll see.

If this year’s supreme court race were a sporting event, “Dandy” Don Meredith of Monday Night Football fame might describe it like this: “Time ticking away late in the fourth quarter. Democrats down by six with the ball on their own 20. Third down and a mile to go.”

It’s time to snap the ball, Mr. Brewer.

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