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Weren’t we all brought up by the admonition that "if you don’t have anything nice to say… don’t say anything at all"? Yes, I am talking to you Michigan Supreme Court Justice Bob Young. Let’s look at some of your embarrassing and unnecessary tirades:

First, in O’Neal v St Hospital & Medical Center, Justice Young charges Justice Cavanaugh of feigning unawareness, and the majority as a whole of excessive pride ("spectacularly hubristic feat"). He takes Chief Justice Kelly’s out-of-court statement as the stepping stone for his rebukes. He follows it up with direct attacks on Justice Hathaway’s opinion and again uses out of court statements as the foundation for his attacks.

Then, in Regents v Titan Ins Co, Justice Young goes back on the attack, again singling out Justice Hathaway and using her out-of-court statements as his ammunition. He also attacks Justice Weaver because he finds that her decision in this case contradicted a prior dissent she gave in a case decided in 2005. Nevermind that that dissent was nuanced, having to do with a specific type of problem on the retroactivity of new law, and that Michigan law under the Gang of Four continued to get progressively worse for justice from 2005 until the end of 2008. Apparently, he was upset when Justice Weaver quoted him word-for-word from a law review article he wrote, that showed his true colors, that he felt compelled to refer in generalities to Justice Weaver’s opinions and conclude matter-of-factly how bad of a judge she was being. But perhaps it is his persistent personal attacks on Chief Justice Kelly, not having to do with her written opinions or authored scholarly articles, that make you wonder if Justice Young wouldn’t benefit from using a professional moderator.

It seems that Justice Young might benefit from a professional who knows how to manage group dynamics and won’t allow a difficult participant to ruin the group. Maybe someone who is paid to handle sensitive topics with diplomacy would be a useful teacher for Justice Young, who seems content with being upset that he is not a part of the Gang of Justice.


  1. Gravatar for JoeThePundit

    I love Justice Young's too-honest take on the common law, the underpinnings of our judicial system and our Democracy. This is what he has written:

    "To give a graphic illustration of my feelings on the subject, I tend to think of the common law as a drunken, toothless ancient relative, sprawled prominently and in a state of nature on a settee in the middle of one’s genteel garden party. Grandpa’s presence is undoubtedly a cause of mortification to the host. But since only the most ill-bred of guests would be coarse enough to comment on Grandpa’s presence and condition, all concerned simply try ignore him. [Young, A judicial traditionalist confronts the common law, 8 Texas Rev L & Pol 299, 301-302 (2004).]"

    Isn't that lovely? From a man we elected to be the safekeeper of our law, we get to see what he really thinks about it.

  2. Gravatar for Bobby

    It seems to me that the only person being a "poor loser" is the author of this article-- a personal-injury lawyer. You see, the people with the most at stake in these supreme court elections, at least from a financial standpoint, are the blood-sucking ambulance chasing attorneys.

    You see, Justice Young dissented because he is looking out for the People-- he understands that with these holdings come great costs to the citizens of this State.

    All that this author and his high-falutin lawyer buddies are about is using the Michigan Supreme Court as an ATM. Even the Detroit News picked up on this one:

    Don't let the Trial Lawyers get rich at the expense of Michigan citizens. Spread the word.

  3. Gravatar for Frank Cusumano

    I witnessed, first hand, a personal attack by Justice Young last night on the Chief Justice's integrity. It was a disgraceful performance and was in front of the Republican Precinct Delegate County Convention.

    After having to endure Young's tirade, and reading Justice Young's opinions, I cannot support his re-election bid. As his grip on public policy through creative judicial interpretation slips away, he is becoming more vicious and spiteful. I am sure that the enormous boom to his friends in the insurance industry will be rewarded upon his inevitable defeat in November.

  4. Gravatar for William Eadie


    Yes, trial lawyers make their money from winning cases--its the service we offer, and like any other profession, we expect to get paid for it. (Unlike other professions, though, we get paid only if we win, thus making frivolous lawsuits incredibly counter-productive to a lawyer's bottom line.) If you support free-market capitalism, you definitely should support trial lawyers.

    As to your point about "great costs to the citizens of this State," you should attempt to familiarize yourself with the facts of the situation: the "costs" to citizens comes not from lawsuits--which seek to return to injured citizens the costs they suffered from negligent parties--but from the negligent behavior in the first place, such as medical malpractice.

    As a market force, making negligent parties pay the costs of their behavior, as opposed to letting them shift those costs to the public at large (the technical term for such shifted-costs being "externalities"), actually creates safer, less costly industries. The facts, the empirical facts, support that conclusion.

    On the other hand, big insurance companies support whatever faux-news source that tried to convince you that you're better off when your right to a civil jury trial--a right ensconced in the Constitution--is subjugated to "tort reform."

  5. Gravatar for William Eadie

    Here's a recent, report from the insurance-friendly Society of Actuaries’ Health Section that shows the huge cost of easily-preventable medical errors:

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