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Judicial Deceit: Tyranny & Unnecessary Secrecy at the Michigan Supreme Court
     

Judicial Deceit: Tyranny & Unnecessary Secrecy at the Michigan Supreme Court

by Elizabeth A. Weaver
 

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In an unprecedented retelling of modern judicial history, a retired chief justice gives us a glimpse inside the way things have worked at the Michigan Supreme Court.
This book reveals much that has hitherto been hidden from public knowledge. But even at 770 pages, the justice says the tome is “only a little more than the tip of the iceberg.”
The

Overview

In an unprecedented retelling of modern judicial history, a retired chief justice gives us a glimpse inside the way things have worked at the Michigan Supreme Court.
This book reveals much that has hitherto been hidden from public knowledge. But even at 770 pages, the justice says the tome is “only a little more than the tip of the iceberg.”
The story is told through court documents, internal communications, and detailed interviews. The book also compiles media accounts and other interviews that put the history in context. Through it all is the narrative of the justice who—at great personal cost—led the struggle to let the people of Michigan know what had been going on.
In her nearly 16 years on the Michigan Supreme Court, Elizabeth Ann Weaver has seen just how justice can move from mostly serving the public to the ways it can be put to use for political, personal, and ideological gain.
She maintains that purpose in her most recent revelations: the book is written to share with citizens the need for reform in the way the state selects its justices and to illustrate the need to eliminate unnecessary secrecy and to encourage openness and transparency in the transaction of the people’s judicial business. (There is an appendix in the book that lists recommended reforms.)
As the court was taken over by gubernatorial appointees, people ill-suited and not always qualified for the work, things grew stranger and stranger. Weaver relates her experience of the explosive fellow justice who would repeatedly browbeat staff (who also carried a firearm into the building), the justice who would go after lawyers who disagreed with him, justices who violated fund-raising practices, justices who would claim to be conservatives but who would behave as activists and change the law from the bench. And every time that Weaver would step up to warn them or to stop them, they would attack her, refusing to publish her dissents, even promoting or creating a “gag order” that they thought would keep her from speaking out.
In the end, it was open warfare, with the Engler Four creating bogus charges and sending her to the Judicial Tenure Commission, openly expressing their rage at her behavior because she would not sit down, shut up, and—by their lights—behave. Weaver stood in defense of the Constitution, the laws of the state, and common sense. But she felt some responsibility: Weaver had openly helped some of them come to the court, and had been their friend.
Story after story comes from Justice Weaver’s recollections and deep files (she kept most everything), and co-author David Schock’s extensive research. Weaver is opening the door to what she saw, heard, and experienced.
Along the way we talk with other judges, lawyers, and employees who felt the hand of this court, arguably the worst in the nation. And the story arc is that the Michigan Supreme Court became and remains tyrannous, unnecessarily secretive, and judicially deceitful.

Editorial Reviews

Amazon - AJ Marks
I recommend Judicial Deceit to any lawyer or student of government. What Robert Caro did with Lyndon Johnson--showing how action upon action over years built to where LBJ could pass legislation where none of his predecessors could--here Weaver and Schock show how secret upon secret built a Michigan Supreme Court virtually unaccountable to any agency or balancing force. [...]
bloggingformichigan.com - Walt Sorg
[...] But the end result is a well-documented call for reform from a lawyer who is very committed to the belief that Michigan desperately needs to take steps to remove some of the politics from its highest court, and instill public trust in the court’s fairness and objectivity.
Amazon - C W Kauffman
At last in Michigan, often rated as the most corrupt state in the nation, the corruption cat is out of the bag. The description is given by a uniquely qualified individual with an impeccable reputation who has been revealing the situation partially for decades. A web of corruption has been woven across the state by numerous officials with the full knowledge of Federal authorities who refuse to act, noting the Kilpatrick exception, as they have apparently been compromised. [...]

Product Details

BN ID:
2940148468615
Publisher:
Elizabeth A. Weaver
Publication date:
10/01/2013
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
770
File size:
3 MB

Meet the Author

Chief Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver (retired 2010) served nearly 36 years on the bench: twelve years as a probate/juvenile judge in Leelanau County; eight years as a Court of Appeals judge, and nearly sixteen years as a justice (two as chief justice) on the Michigan Supreme Court. She was elected and re-elected—never appointed—by the people of Michigan to each judgeship. This daughter of New Orleans came north to pursue her dream of helping young people through education, justice, and law. She has made her home in Glen Arbor along the shores of Lake Michigan. Since her arrival, she has worked in both a private school (teaching French and serving as a dean of women students), and in a public school (teaching first grade), as an attorney, and as a judge and justice. As a member of the Michigan Women’s Hall of Fame (inducted 2005), Weaver was recognized as “the people’s justice” for her integrity and devotion to the law. An advocate for the open and transparent administration of justice in the courts, she has been known for her principled stands against ideology and political chicanery on the bench—against misuse and abuse of government power. Her motto is “Do Right and Fear Not.” Her website, www.justiceweaver.com, lists many of her activities, recognitions and interests, including a serious interest in golf.

David B. Schock, Ph.D., is a former newspaper reporter and editor, and university and college professor. He earned his doctorate under the direction of Dr. Russell Kirk, perhaps America’s leading conservative thinker and historian of ideas. Schock also is an award-winning documentary filmmaker who specializes in chronicling unsolved homicides. He is best known for <i>Who Killed Janet Chandler?</i>, a 2004 film about the 25-year-old unsolved homicide of a Hope College student. The film led to the formation of a cold-case team that spent the next 18 months cracking the case. Six people are now in prison as a result. He also is the auteur of <i>Jack in the Box, Finding Diane,</i> and <i>Into the Dark</i>. His website, www.delayedjustice.com, lists many of Michigan’s unsolved homicides. He also makes films about poets including <i>Jump Back Honey: The Poetry and Performance of Herbert Woodward Martin</i> and <i>StarbyStar: Naomi Long Madgett, Poet & Publisher</. Schock also is an active jazz trumpet player.

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