Michigan Supreme Court Feud Escalates
JANUARY 10, 2007
In house fighting within Michigan’s Supreme Court reached an all-time high when a veteran justice issued a scathing memorandum saying that the court’s recently re-elected Chief Justice has a history of abuse of power and repeated disorderly conduct.
The blistering 18-page dissent reads more like a juicy novel than an official court document issued by a respected, Republican-appointed state Supreme Court Justice. In it, Justice Elizabeth Weaver explains why fellow Republican-appointed Chief Justice Clifford Taylor, reelected this week by his peers, is not qualified to lead the state’s high court.
Writing that this is the “tip of the iceberg,” Weaver accuses Chief Justice Taylor of unprofessional and unfair performance and imposing secrecy around the court’s operations. She writes that Taylor, who forms the court’s majority of four, has suppressed some of the court’s dissents and mishandled administrative duties.
Weaver assures that the decision-making process of the Michigan Supreme Court is seriously flawed and lists a recent case involving an attorney as an example. She accuses some of her colleagues on the bench of participating in the case despite their documented bias and prejudice against the attorney, therefore denying due process.
It’s not often that a state’s high court publicly airs its dirty laundry, leading one Detroit newspaper columnist to call it “odor in the court” because Justice Weaver threw a real stink bomb into the halls of the Michigan Supreme Court.
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