Mich. Chamber endorses three for state SC

Jessica M. Karmasek Sep. 18, 2012, 11:45am




LANSING, Mich. (Legal Newsline) - The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is endorsing three Republican candidates for the state Supreme Court.

The Chamber said Tuesday it is backing incumbent Justices Stephen J. Markman and Brian Zahra, along with Oakland County Circuit Court Judge Colleen O'Brien.

"A stable, predictable legal climate is an important part of Michigan's economic competitiveness," Michigan Chamber President and CEO Rich Studley said in a statement.

"Markman, Zahra and O'Brien are experienced and capable judges who believe in separation of powers and will not legislate from the bench."

Jim Holcomb, senior vice president of the Chamber's business advocacy and its general counsel, agreed.

"At the Michigan Chamber, we know from experience that job providers can win public policy battles in the Legislature only to lose the war in court," he said.

"The three candidates we have endorsed are independent, intelligent and fair-minded jurists with strong track records of accomplishment."

Studley added that Markman, Zahra and O'Brien are "solid choices" for the state's high court.

Zahra will face Oakland County District Judge Sheila Johnson to fill a two-year term.

Markman and O'Brien will run against Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Connie Marie Kelley and University of Michigan law professor Bridget Mary McCormack for eight-year terms.

The Michigan Democratic Party nominated the three women to run for the Court at its state convention in Lansing earlier this month.

Although political parties nominate individuals for the state's high court, their party labels do not appear on the ballot.

The state's general election is Nov. 6.

The Michigan Chamber of Commerce is a statewide business organization representing about 6,800 employers, trade associations and local chambers of commerce.

The Michigan Chamber, established in 1959, is one of only six state chambers accredited by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and one of only four state chambers accredited with distinction.

The U.S. Chamber's Institute for Legal Reform owns Legal Newsline.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at jessica@legalnewsline.com.

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