Study from Chicago "disses" Michigan Supreme Court
A recent article published by the University of Chicago's Law School attempted to assess "Which states have the best (and worst) high Courts?" The authors studied the courts of all 50 states and measured their productivity, influence or opinion quality (i.e., do other courts follow their lead?), and independence from bare partisanship.
Michigan's high court was low in productivity; our court came in 42d in quality (almost no one follows our Justices' lead); and we were dead last in partisanship or independence: that is, we have the most political state high court in the country. That finding will come as no surprise to practicing lawyers and should come as no surprise to anyone, when one considers that political parties nominate the candidates for the Supreme Court in Michigan. It is reassuring that we remain ahead of some "backward" states in terms of quality, even if we are behind everyone when assessing the indendence of the one body where independence should be taken for granted.