Ingham Circuit Judge Giddings reflects on retirement

Judge James Giddings, of the Ingham County Circuit Court, is retiring because he’s bumping against the state constitutional age-70 roadblock.

He says it might be time to rethink the age limit for holding judicial office.

In a conversation with Kyle Melinn of the Lansing-based CityPulse, Giddings said he’s been on the bench almost 40 years.

Giddings said he still has enough in him to keep going but isn’t sure he would have taken another ride on the electoral rollercoaster even without the constitutional barrier.

Realistically, being 70 years old today isn’t like being 70 years old back in the 1960s, when the latest draft of the Constitution was written, Giddings noted. People are living longer, more healthy lives. At age 70, Giddings said he could continue doing the job. Maybe at age 75, things would be different, he said. He’ll never know.

But if voters this November vote “yes” on Proposal 1 and call for a new constitutional convention to re-write Michigan’s guiding document, Giddings would suggest that delegates lift the current cap to more accurately reflect the changing times, be it 75 or 80.

Giddings, who frequently clashed with former governor John Engler, addressed Engler’s frequent claims that Giddings was a judicial activist.

“If anyone examined the rulings, they’d know I followed the law,” Giddings said. “Give him credit, John Engler was effective. But he used things I ruled on to give him stature with some constituencies.”

Engler claimed at the time that Giddings was a “judicial activist.” Now, Giddings accurately pointed out, Engler’s own judicial appointees, especially at the Supreme Court level, are being painted with the same brush.

3 thoughts on “Ingham Circuit Judge Giddings reflects on retirement

  1. Judge Giddons should have retired years ago. hes a cranky old man who sends everyone to jail. he is a disgraceful human being and should be removed imediatly.

  2. (ANONYMOUS IS RIGHT)
    JUDGE GIDDONS WAS THE BEST WE EVER HAD AND IT’S A SHAME TO SEE PEOPLE WALK OVER HIM TO BETTER THERE LIVELIHOOD IN OFFICE AND IM HERE TO SAY HE DID NOT SEND EVERYONE TO JAIL AS “emily” SAYS IN FACT HE SAVED MANY THAT WAS BEING OVER PROSECUTED. THIS I HAVE SEEN FROM PERSONAL EXPERIENCE. ALSO STOPPING OTHERS FROM TAKING THE LAW IN THEIR OWN HANDS. IT’S A SHAME TO BE FROM LANSING AND JUST NOW GETTING THIS SAD NEWS SINCE I LIVE OUT OF STATE AND THIS JUST PROVES HOW CURRUPT (MI) CAN BE AND I PRAY I NEVER HAVE TO LIVE IN LANSING OR FOR THAT MATTER (MI) AS WELL BEING THAT THE PEOPLE JUST DONT CARE SO LONG AS ITS NOT AFFECTING THEM PERSONALLY AND JUST LOOK THE OUTHER WAY. JUDGE OR NOW MR GIDDONS SHOULD HAD BEEN GOVERNOR BY NOW FOR SPENDING HIS LIFE CLEANING UP INGHAM AND THE STATE AS WELL….
    MIKE M (AR)

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