Michigan Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth "Betty" Weaver is resigning. Weaver is a Republican, but she was expected to run for re-election this November as an independent. Justice Weaver openly feuded with some of her Republican colleagues on the court.
Governor Granholm will appoint her replacement, a move that is expected to put the Republican majority on the court in jeopardy.
"Weaver, of Glen Arbor, told her local newspaper for a story published this morning that Granholm has agreed to appoint an independent-minded northern Michigan judge, and said her first choice is Appeals Court Judge Alton Davis."
The Governor's appointment does not require the approval of the state Legislature, according to the Governor's press secretary.
Governor Granholm and Justice Weaver made the announcement at noon today in governor's press auditorium in Lansing.
Earlier this month, the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU's School of Law released a study on campain spending on state supreme court races. The study found an "explosion in judicial campaign spending, much of it poured in by 'super spender' organizations seeking to sway the courts." It also highlighted Michigan, saying the state's 2008 Supreme Court races "had just under $5 million in total spending, [and] witnessed some of the cycle's most brutal TV ads."