8.22.08: What they’re saying …

“This is a travesty of justice.”
– Dianne Byrum, frontwoman for Reform Michigan Government Now!, quoted in The Detroit News.
Well, how else would you expect her to respond to the Michigan Court of Appeals decision that halted the RMGN’s ballot proposal dead in its tracks? The RMGN folks promise endless appeals, starting today with the Michigan Supreme Court.


“If they wanted to do this legally, they could have come up with eight different proposed amendments. [Michigan Democratic Party Chair] Mark Brewer held a constitutional convention in his basement instead and came up with this.”
– Robert LaBrant, Michigan Chamber of Commerce vice president and chief architect of the opposition to RMGN’s proposal, quoted in The Detroit Free Press.
The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled there is a great difference between amending the Michigan Constitution, which can be accomplished at the polls, and wholesale revisions, which require convening a constitutional convention. The COA said the RMGN proposal was most definitely a revision. The proposal would alter four articles of the Michigan Constitution by modifying 24 existing sections and adding four new ones. According to the common wisdom, Brewer had a big hand in drafting the proposal.


“I think it’s been so male-dominated that it’s going to take years to make up that difference.”
– Danielle Hall, career and professional development coordinator for Cooley Law School, quoted in The Oakland Press.
Hall was reacting to the statewide statistic that 27 percent of the sitting judges are women. In Oakland County, the percentage could jump to more than 50 percent on the circuit court bench, depending on the outcome of two judicial contests in November. Nine of 19 circuit judges are women. Two male judges are retiring. In the August primary, the two female candidates looking to fill the openings outpolled their nearest competitors by a 2-1 margin.


“You might as well pull the trigger and shoot me now.”
– Nate Craft, former hit man, quoted in The Detroit News.
More than 20 years ago, Craft bargained down a first-degree murder charge and life sentence in exchange for his testimony against his former employer, the Best Friends drug gang. He was released from federal prison this spring but was denied participation in the witness protection program. Worst yet, says Craft, the terms of his probation require him to live in Michigan for the next two years. He spends his days peering out his windows and looking over his shoulder.


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