Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Young

by Walter Olson on October 25, 2010

One of the most highly regarded right-of-center state court jurists is up for re-election this year in my native state, and drawing some of the slimiest attacks from Democratic strategists. A sample: they’re hyping still photos of Young with his eyes closed on the bench, supposedly “sleeping,” when videotape context from moments before and after reveals the Justice to be simply blinking or glancing down. Instance #87,231, I’d say, of why it’s dubious to go to the mat in principle for the notion of selecting judges by partisan contested election. More: Tim Skubick/Oakland Press, The Blog Prof.

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1 Alex 10.25.10 at 11:15 am

All the ad’s that I’ve seen for Bob Young playing in Metro Detroit are are tagged by the Republican party. We (the voters of the state) should stop the pretense and openly admit that Judicial elections are not non-partisan.


2 Black Death 10.25.10 at 2:03 pm

I have no problem with (so-called) non-partisan judicial elections. But if you think the federal system of appointment and lifetime tenure is superior, look at this:


3 Smart Dude 10.25.10 at 5:58 pm

The democrat party in Michigan must have hired Alan Grayson’s notorious advertising agency with such preposterously (and easily disproven) dishonest ads.

I love where Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert Young blinks for less than on second, with the captured image purporting to show him sound asleep on the bench. Judge Young is clearly eloquent and insightful in the video clips misused by the democrats, making their dishonesty even more laughably blatant.

4 valhawk 10.25.10 at 10:50 pm

This seems like a clear case of Libel to me. I mean the statement of the contents of the photo is false and intended to deceive, plus there is a clear intent to defame in order to cause his defeat at the polls.

I know it’s tough for a public figure to make a libel case, but this is particularly egregious and clear defamation, it seems almost textbook to me.

5 Doug 10.26.10 at 10:36 am

About 8 years ago, there was a scandal in Wayne County, Michigan (that’s Detroit), in which the circuit court judges were leaving after lunch on Friday or not scheduling anything. Justice Young and his staff showed up unannounced at 4:30 at the little courthouse I was practicing at. Fortunately, for all, we had a hearing that was still going on. Justice Young pressed the flesh and told everyone to keep up the good work, and left satisfied that the judges at this courthouse weren’t messing around.

6 Carter 10.26.10 at 1:25 pm

We shouldn’t reward the delivers and financers of these ugly, dishonest attacks by surrendering to the often-rigged system of judicial “merit” selection that allows them to achieve their goals outside of the public eye.

7 Why Robert Young is Wrong for Michigan 10.30.10 at 1:09 am

Why do you keep calling Justice Young “conservative”, he is not. Young is quite active in aggressively interpreting statues to benefit his constituents, Big Business and Big Insurance. He is not conservative, and is intellectually dishonest when the same strict interpretation rules are applied against his cronies’ interests. The legislature meanwhile is forced to repeatedly rewrite laws which Young and the former majority of Four rewrite. Like that the Michigan Consumer Protection Act doesn’t apply to any licensed occupations. This after 30 years of the Michigan Courts saying it did. IS THAT CONSEVRATIVE or RULE OF LAW or justice for sale to the highest bidder. IT SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT WE THE PEOPLE, not THEM, BIG BUSINESS and BIG INSURANCE.

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