|David H. Sawyer|
|Michigan Third District Court of Appeals Judge|
| Assumed office|
| Term ends|
January 1, 2017
|Former Kent County Prosecuting Attorney|
- Main article: Michigan judicial elections, 2010
Judge Sawyer graduated from the University of Arizona with a bachelor's degree and went on to receive his law degree from Valparaiso School of Law.
Prior to his judgeship, David Sawyer was the Kent County Prosecuting Attorney and a criminal justice teacher at Grand Rapids Junior College.
Political affiliation and campaign contributions
Republican. Judge Sawyer has contributed several times to the Republican Committee of Kent County.
Reform Michigan Government Now's (RMGN) proposal to reduce the Michigan Court of Appeals from 28 to 21 judges, based on term expiration dates, attempts to shift the court's political power from the Republicans to the Democrats. If passed, the court's political makeup would have been changed from the current 16 Republican judges and 12 Democratic judges to 10 Republican judges and 11 Democratic judges--thereby eliminating six Republican judges and one Democratic judge. The judges that had been appointed by Democratic Governor Jennifer Granholm would not be removed. Were the term expiration date to change or the determining factor to be based on seniority, the composition would change. The judges targeted by Reform Michigan Government Now were as follows: Pat Donofrio, Joel Hoekstra, Donald Owens, David Sawyer, William Whitbeck, Kurtis Wilder, and Helene White--the only Democrat affected by these removals.
First Amendment ruling
The Michigan Court of Appeals threw out a law created in 1897 that says "anyone using 'indecent, immoral, obscene, vulgar or insulting language in the presence or hearing of any woman or child shall be guilty of a misdemeanor.'" Judges William Murphy, David Sawyer and Joel Hoekstra determined the law violated the First Amendment right to free speech--that it would be "difficult to conceive of a statute that would be more vague." According to the Freedom Forum, the court said the law was vague in what constituted vulgar language, and therefore would be an unreasonable expectation.
- Judge Sawyer's Biography
- The Founding Values Initiative, Sawyer benefactor
- Deputy Sheriff Association of Michigan: Sawyer rules on case
- Michigan Appeals Court Finds Lawyer is Owed Open Meetings Fees
- DNA testing upsets parentage laws, Sawyer weighs in
- Michigan Officer Involved in death of Judge
- The Michigan Daily: Vulgar Language Ruling
- 2004 General Election Results
- Dolan Media
- Michigan Poverty Law Program
- Cussing canoeist's conviction thrown out, along with 105-year-old law
- Michigan Poverty Law Program
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Biographies of the 3rd District Judges
- ↑ Michigan 2010 Unofficial General Election Results: Court of Appeals
- ↑ Michigan Constitution, Article VI, Section 23
- ↑ Michigan 2010 candidate list
- ↑ News Meat
- ↑ Democrats will take over on Michigan Court of Appeals
- ↑ Cussing canoeist's conviction thrown out, along with 105-year-old law