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GOP Plan Would Move Claims Court From Democrat-Leaning Ingham County

Lawsuits filed against the state would go to a new division of the Michigan Court of Appeals under a bill approved Wednesday by the state Senate.

The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta reports.

Right now, the Michigan Court of Claims is part of the Ingham County Circuit Court. That’s where Lansing and the state capital are located.

Republicans like state Senator Rick Jones say changing that is an overdue reform.

 “It doesn’t make a lot of sense to put all that burden on one county,” he says.  “Also, only 3% of the population of Michigan elect the judges that serve in Ingham County.”

Ingham County also happens to lean Democratic and the judges here have ruled against Governor Rick Snyder and Republicans in lawsuits challenging the emergency manager law and other big cases. Many of those decisions were overturned by the Court of Appeals.

Democrats say Republicans are playing politics with the court.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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