Thursday, January 13, 2011

A troubling start

I had high hopes for Michigan’s new governor, Rick Snyder. Although I lean more than a little to the left, I understood the push I saw in the last election cycle for fiscal responsibility in our state government. What I had hoped, however, was the Gov. Synder would focus his energies on fixing the economic woes of our state, and leave behind the extreme social conservatism that Michigan Republicans seem to love. His first few weeks in office would suggest that this is not the case. As reported in Between The Lines, Synder’s appointment to head up the Michigan Department of Human Services is Maura Corrigan, currently a MI Supreme Court Justice. For those of you who have been around for a while, you may recognize her name as the justice who ended second parent adoptions for same-sex parents in 2002. As Jay Kaplan of the ACLU points out in the BTL article, in spite of not having a case before her, Corrigan encouraged another judge to stop the adoptions that were only taking place in Washtenaw County, which he did by ordering the circuit clerical staff to not accept any more adoption petitions from unmarried couples. Many would consider this (*cue scary music*) judicial activism. This does not bode well. If the state government is looking to stop the brain drain that is devastating our economy, I think making Michigan a favorable legal climate for all families (married parents or not) is a great start.

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