Michigan appeals court judge campaigns for seat on state Supreme Court

Posted at 8:57 PM, Oct 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-10-30 20:57:46-04

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — There are two seats up for grabs on Michigan’s Supreme Court with seven candidates hoping to win on Tuesday.

Friday night we sat down with Brock Swartzle for a Zoom call before the big day.

“We need to first and foremost stand up for our constitution,” he said.

Swartzle is one of seven people hoping to fill two justice seats on Michigan’s Supreme Court. He says if elected, he’ll make sure state leaders follow the law.

“I think that the court should defer to the legislature in terms of it’s the body that passes laws and the courts should not be in the business enacting its own laws that’s for the legislature. If the legislature were to enact a law that violated the constitution, then we should strike that law down.”

The race is non-partisan, but candidates are endorsed. The republican party is backing him for one of the seats.

His website says he has the endorsement of several agencies including the Michigan Fraternal Order of Police, Michigan Manufacturers Association, and the state’s Small Business Association.

He says the attack ads that are out there are mostly ineffective and backed by half-truths.

“I just ask voters – we all have websites we all have our information out there. Spend a few minutes to do your own research rather than relying on some attack ad from some outside group,” he said.

Swartzle is a judge for Michigan’s 4th District Court of Appeals. He previously served as chief of staff for the Michigan Speaker of the House.

When it comes to the U.S. Supreme Court and the fast push through of Amy Coney Barrett.

“I think it’s fair game to play within the rules and as long you’re playing within the rules that’s the system we have set up. I do have a problem when there are threats to start changing the rules simply because one side or the other seemingly lost.”

As for the changes he’d advocate for in our judicial system, Swartzle says he wants a court that rules without fear or favor.

“One that focuses strictly on the facts and the law before it and is able to set aside partisanship and that’s the kind of judge I’ve been on the Michigan Court of Appeals and that’s the kind of justice I would be on the Michigan Supreme Court and my vision for the court is simply that.”

Don't forget to flip your ballot over for your Supreme Court picks.

Since they're non-partisan, if you vote a straight-party ticket, the race on your ballot will stay blank.