Legislators save U.P. judgeships

LANSING, Mich.—The state Senate on Tuesday approved legislation that will maintain justice and an efficient court system for Upper Peninsula residents by keeping additional judgeships in the circuit courts.

The vote comes despite a State Court Administrative Office recommendation to eliminate two judgeships each from the 47th Circuit Court, representing Delta County, and from the 12th Circuit Court, representing Houghton, Baraga and Keweenaw counties. 

“The passage of these important bills is good news for Upper Peninsula residents,” said Sen. Tom Casperson, R-Escanaba. “We will maintain an appropriate number of judgeships to make sure the judicial process remains fair and timely. We could not have made this happen without the support of the local judges, who did a tremendous job of advocating for the citizens they serve, and I am grateful for their commitment to the Upper Peninsula.”

District Court Judge Glenn Pearson agrees with Casperson.

“This is wonderful news for U.P. residents that they will continue to have judges to handle the work of the three courts,” Pearson said. “The fair and timely disposition of their civil matters, as well as the effective manner in which criminal cases can be handled for the safety of the community can now continue.

“Law enforcement and the prosecutor’s office can now be assured that their efforts can be supported by a court system capable of addressing their cases in a timely manner. I want to thank Senator Casperson and Representative Ed McBroom for their efforts to save these judgeships.”

State Rep. Matt Huuki, R-Atlantic Mine, said, “Upper Peninsula legislators all worked together to advocate what works best for U.P. residents. Keeping the judgeship in Houghton County is part of a positive solution, and I’m glad we could make it happen.”

The legislation now goes to the governor for signing.