Michigan Supreme Court

"An independent and honorable judiciary is indispensable to justice in our society. A judge should participate in establishing, maintaining, and enforcing, and should personally observe, high standards of conduct so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved." — Michigan Code of Judicial Conduct

This page shows the evolution of campaign finances for Michigan Supreme Court campaigns over the three decades from 1984 through 2016.

Over that time, spending in Michigan's Supreme Court races has trended upward and the role of outside groups has ballooned. Since 2000, groups funded by secret donors have poured millions of dollars into races by running issue advertisements that praise or criticize Supreme Court candidates but that don't expressly tell viewers how to vote. Those groups' efforts were on full display in 2012 when only 24.9 percent of the spending in the races came from groups that disclosed the the sources of their money.

For the 2010, 2012 and 2014 campaigns, the Brennan Center for Justice found that Michigan was home to the most expensive and least transparent Supreme Court campaigns in the country. In 2016, the races weren't competitve, but still groups spent more than $3 million. Half of that spending in the 2016 cycle came from groups that didn't have to disclose the sources of their money.

In addition to campaign finance data, the page displays representative samples of electioneering television advertisements, or candidate-focused issue advertisements, from the campaigns of 2000 through 2016. Over the period from 2000 through 2016, the political parties and interest groups spent two-thirds more than the amount raised and spent by the candidate committees for unreported, unregulated electioneering television advertisements. Spending data for those advertisements were collected from the public files of Michigan's television broadcasters and cable systems.

Sample advertisements are from Kantar Media/CMAG and YouTube.

 

Michigan Supreme Court Campaign Finance Summary, 1984-2016

Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1984-2016: Graphical Representation

Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1984-2016: Data Table

 

Michigan Supreme Court Campaign Finance Summary By Election Cycle

Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2016 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2014 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2012 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2010 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2008 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2006 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2004 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2002 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 2000 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1998 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1996 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1994 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1992 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1990 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1988 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1986 cycle
Michigan Supreme Court campaign finance summary, 1984 cycle
 

2016 Michigan Supreme Court Electioneering Communications

2014 Michigan Supreme Court electioneering communications

2012 Michigan Supreme Court electioneering communications

2010 Michigan Supreme Court electioneering communications