I certainly cannot say that I know former Michigan State Supreme Court Justice Elizabeth Weaver well. But every time I saw her, back in the days when I was consulting with the Michigan Bureau of Justice Justice, she would dash over to tell me how much she missed my late colleague Bob Trojanowicz. She was also quick to tell me that she did everything she could to make community policing a reality.
A Republican fan of progressive police reform? Yes, my children, there was a time when not all Republicans were fear-mongering bigots who think corporations are our salvation. Betty was also a huge fan of restorative justice, though those are the kinds of policies that make reactionary Tea Partyers go berserkers.
Indeed, her compassion and her independence were reasons why Betty’s fellow Republican supreme court justices apparently also wanted her gone. And much to Betty’s credit, she paid them back for their nastiness in shunning her by unexpectedly resigning so that our Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm could fill her seat with Judge Alton Davis, giving the Dems the majority on the court.
If revenge is a dish best served cold, Betty must be savoring each and every frigid morsel.
Betty is a reminder of an era when Republican women were as feisty as they come. I also had the pleasure of meeting the late Lorraine Beebe, the first woman ever to admit to an abortion on the floor of the state senate in 1969.
Which brings me to a word of warning for Republican gubernatorial nominee Rick Snyder, whose 22-point lead over Democratic candidate Virg Bernero seems to make him a shoo-in this fall. Rick, you had a great chance to solidify yourself with independent women if you had chosen a female running-mate (especially one who was pro-choice).
Maybe right-thinking women like Lorraine have all been driven out of the party by the Mama and Papa Grizzlies. But you needed to show Michigan women that you aren’t Newt Gingrich in nerd’s clothing – and you didn’t.
Reportedly Virg will announce his choice tomorrow. If he’s as smart as he needs to be, this is his chance to pick a woman who will pick Mr. Snyder apart.
Isn’t this race going to be fun?