As I was looking through videos for the Dan Lathrop v. Michael Estes commissioner showdown, I came across a fantastic clip from the November 16, 2016 Grand Traverse County Board of Commissioners Meeting. Here, we see 86th District Court Judge Michael Stepka explaining the three branches of government to the county commissioners:
Watch at 33:15.
“The court is a separate branch of government. When are you going to understand that?” Stepka angrily scolds the commissioners.
Someone needs to put that quote to music and write a new School House Rock song.
There are three branches of government. The legislature makes the laws, the executive branch carries them out, and the judicial branch interprets them.
You with me so far? Stop me if I’m going too slow. Because the commission does not understand.
Footnote… the relevant rule is that the commission only has to fund the court to a minimally serviceable level. The rule doesn’t mention unique employment deals designed to give special treatment to special people.
And I don’t see either judge beating down the doors of the commission to fix the jail crisis.