Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Cliff Taylor may have slept through his re-election campaign in 2008 (and his years on the bench) but he paid the price when voters put Justice Diane Hathaway in his place -- the first time a sitting chief judge of the Michigan Supreme Court had been defeated.
Taylor was one of former Gov. John Engler's "Gang of Four" justices who time after time had favored corporations over citizens in rulings before the Michigan Supreme Court, regardless of the facts, regardless of court precedents, and based solely on their conservative ideology.
Justice Bob Young is part of the Engler gang that has turned the Michigan Supreme Court into an arm of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, ruling with corporations 80 percent of the time. Young's term is up in 2010, and although Young and his corporate backers won't be sleeping, voters won't be either. If anything, there are even more arguments for removing Bob Young than there were for removing Taylor.
A survey of Michigan lawyers of all types ranked Young the worst justice on the Michgian Supreme Court.
Young's rulings have protected drunk drivers, drug companies whose products have harmed people who took them, even sexual predators who have harrassed women at work. And he prevented Michigan citizens from suing to protect the environment. The MDP has details here.
The Justice Caucus of the Michigan Democratic Party will be reminding voters how to vote the non-partisan portion of the Michigan ballot, where judges' names are listed, and underscoring that voting a straight party ticket doesn't include the judges. The caucus made that clear on Saturday (April 17, 2010) during the Michigan Democratic Party's endorsement convention at Cobo Hall.
Trial attorney Geoffrey Fieger fired up the Justice Caucus crowd, saying of Bob Young, "I know evil when I see it." Fieger said, referring to the damage done to victims of Bob Young's rulings.
The message of defeating Bob Young in November, he said, would be that, "In Michigan, justice is no longer for sale."
We did it once. We can do it again.