Over the years if a political correspondent suffered from writer's block, you could always wander over to the Michigan Supreme Court and find plenty of outrageous grist for the mill.
The high court had a reputation for partisan back-stabbing and for doing goofy stuff such as voting to unceremoniously oust one of it's own, behind her back, while she was at dinner and then sending her a registered letter telling her turn in her black robe.
The high court has also suffered from the widely held notion that it was so politically divided that it teetered on the dysfunctional edge. The charges, of course, were mostly unfair, but there was enough "evidence" that the notion never went away.
It's apparently a new day on the new court and as the Chief Justice says, "It's Bridget's fault."
Bridget is Justice Bridget McCormack the newest member on the bench and she campaigned on changing the culture of the court and apparently it's working.
The fact that Republican Chief Robert Young, Jr. appeared with Democrat Justice McCormick was news in itself. He call them "the odd couple." Sure they acknowledged they have their philosophical differences when it comes to composing opinions on this case or that, but the relationship tone has changed.
Court members love to toss around the term "collegial" but in this case the banter between the two seemed to confirm that they were well along on that road of cooperation, respect, and collegiality.
"Since I've been on the court, it's been an incredibly collegial experience and that I feel like all of my colleagues, particularly the chief justice, have been very open to an interested in my views, sometimes even persuaded by them. It's been a pleasure."
And with this, the Chief Justice reaches into his pocket and hands her a ten dollar bill saying, "It's all I can afford right now." She smiles, he smiles, and all is well with the world.
He has his own confession, "This is my 15th year. It's by far, the best year of the 15 years….we have the ability and willingness to listen to one another."
Bully for them.
It has not always been thus at the state's highest court and if Justice McCormack is to blame, so be it. By the way she gave him the ten dollars back when he said, "this wonderful court" as the love-in continued.
And then after it was all over, perhaps the best indication that the court has put its checkered history behind it, as he is leaving, he gives her a big hug out of view of the cameras.