Tuesday, May 17, 2011


It didn’t take them very long.

Earlier today, the Supreme Court of Michigan decided the case of Attorney General v Clarke.

It rendered a per curiam opinion. Per curiam. That means, “by the court.’ In other words, unanimously. All seven Justices agreed to dismiss the Attorney General’s request to oust Judge Clarke from the Lansing District Court.

In the process, the Court repudiated the 1983 case of Kelley v Riley, on the ground that its controlling opinion is inconsistent with the constitution of the State of Michigan.

It was front page news in the Lansing State Journal, which noted that the Court consists of four Republicans and three Democrats, and that I had told them a party line vote would demean the Court and make a mockery of the rule of law.

Since they didn't decide to remove Judge Clarke, they didn't have to answer the question of whether they have the power to do it. They didn't have to come face to face with the plain words of the constitution which say they don't have the power to remove judges.

No surprise. Also no surprise that they included a paragraph defending their right to answer that question either way if it evercomes up. Judges don't giveup the gavel very easily, even to the sovereign people.

Bottom line, the case is closed. Judge Clarke stays on the bench. The Good Lord was willin' and the creek didn't rise.

So the Honorable Hugh Clarke can get back to concentrating on the miscreants, the landlords, the tenants, and the hapless DUI defendants who make his job so challenging. And begin to plan his 2012 election campaign.

And I can get back to being a bogie golfer, a harried homeowner, an itinerant grandparent, and a concerned citizen of these United States.

Still, I have to admit that donning the familiar blue suit, hauling a bulging brief case to the courthouse and jousting with the folks in the black robes was an exhilerating exercise for this old warrior.

Nice to know there's still a bit of fire in the belly that isn't just heart burn from eating jalopenos.


  1. Congratulations, Puppa, on your role in finally undoing Soapy's Mischief.

  2. I watched the video clip and enjoyed it very much. I was tempted to post a comment with my ruling after watching it.

    You were fortunate to have the opportunity to argue the part of the case that you did. The people of state of Michigan didn't want a supreme court to be able to remove sitting judges for good reasons and you were able to preserve that principle.

    The court got it right in my opinion.

    A good days work.
    Thanks for sharing it with us..