Samuel Bagenstos was inspired to go to law school by the civil rights movement, when courts stood up to change unjust practices and protect the rights of those who had been shut out of the political process. The judiciary is the one branch of government that must open its doors to all people who claim to have been injured. The legislature or the executive branch might turn away those who are not rich or connected, but the courts must stand open to hold any lawbreaker—no matter how powerful—to account.
Courts thus play a crucial role in our democracy. When individuals or groups are shut out of the democratic process, when their voices aren’t heard because they lack economic or political power, it’s the judiciary that must listen to them and take them seriously. The courts must faithfully implement the laws democratically enacted by the people, and they must stand as a bulwark to protect everyone’s rights.
In his time in office, Rick Snyder has put his stamp on the Michigan Supreme Court. Four of the Court's seven members are Snyder appointees. Two of those Snyder appointees are standing for election for the first time this fall.
Recent events have shown that independent courts—who are willing to stand up to overreaching by the government, other powerful entities, or anyone else who violates the law—remain just as important today as they were in the civil rights era. The Michigan Supreme Court is the last stop for justice for the vast majority of those who come before it. The Court plays a crucial role in deciding your rights to fair treatment as workers and consumers, your rights to a clean environment as citizens and property owners, and your basic freedoms against government intrusions on your civil liberties.
Samuel Bagenstos is committed to an independent judiciary that stands up for your rights.