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What Is All The Fuss About? “The Sleeping Judge,” Cliff Taylor

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The TV Ad causing the fuss began airing last week. AP writer, David Eggert, for the Chicago Tribune, mused "the Michigan Supreme Court race was jolted out of a peaceful slumber" by accusations that Chief Justice Clifford Taylor nodded off during oral arguments.

Taylor campaign manger, Colleen Pero (wife of Dan Pero, who served as chief of staff and campaign manager for Governor John Engler, now the President and CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers and the person who appointed Justice Taylor to the Michigan Supreme Court), has alleged that this story is made up. Colleen Pero enlisted the services of veteran appellate lawyer James G. Gross, who regularly appears before the Michigan Supreme Court, generally on behalf of insurance companies and corporations, to file an affidavit saying Taylor, 65, did not fall asleep. Well, the mother of some of the dead children involved in the case has stated that Taylor did fall asleep. You be the judge.

Members of his court have been criticizing the Chief for quite some time about misconduct and un-professionalism on the court. I think the Lansing State Journal said it best, "Hathaway is fix for broken high court." And they were emphatic, "The most important vote a resident can cast this fall is to oust Chief Justice Clifford Taylor from the Michigan Supreme Court." The Journal noted that "Judge Hathaway has a solid record on the circuit bench. She is eager to work for, not against the people of Michigan" and said "cast your vote Nov.4 for Hathaway–and for Michigan."