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Michigan Supreme Court names Court of Claims judges

Capitol Building in Lansing, MI
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
Capitol Building, Lansing, MI

The Michigan Supreme Court has moved quickly to name judges to serve on a revamped Court of Claims to hear major lawsuits filed against the state. This comes one day after Governor Rick Snyder signed the court shakeup. And it caps a fast and controversial path to shaking up the court.

The new law moves the Court of Claims from the Ingham County Circuit to become part of the Michigan Court of Appeals. Republicans moved the bill quickly through the Legislature and Governor Rick Snyder wasted no time signing it. Lawsuits challenging controversial policies such as the emergency manager and right to work laws will be heard by the new court, run by four judges also serving on the appeals court.

The Michigan Supreme Court named Judge Michael Talbot to be the presiding judge. Also assigned to the new court are Judges Pat Donofrio, Amy Krause, and Deborah Servitto.

Two of the judges were originally appointed by a Republican governor, two by a Democrat. All of them also have experience as trial judges. Under the rules of the new Court of Claims, cases will be assigned to a judge by a random draw.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987.