Benchslaps, State Judges, State Judges Are Clowns, Vicious Infighting

Benchslapped: Michigan Supreme Court Justices — Why Can’t They All Just Get Along?

Justice Elizabeth Betty Weaver.jpgWhenever we make fun of state court judges for being kinda low-rent, we often get emails and comments defending members of the state judiciary. We realize, of course, that dismissing state court judges as “icky” is a huge overgeneralization.
Sadly, it’s not without factual basis — at least in the state of Michigan. From the Associated Press:

The notion of black-robed judges as symbols of decorum and civility seems almost laughable these days in Michigan.

“Almost” laughable? Try removing the qualifier:

Justices on the Michigan Supreme Court have fallen into sniping and name-calling and traded accusations of unprofessional conduct. One justice referred to another as a “very angry, sad woman” and suggested she go on a hunger strike for everyone else’s benefit….

So what’s this all about?

At the center of the dispute is Justice Elizabeth Weaver (above right), an outspoken 65-year-old Republican who was first elected to the high court in 1994. She accuses Chief Justice Clifford Taylor and three other GOP members of the high court of engaging in unprofessional conduct and trying to muzzle her when she complained about it.

The justices under attack say Weaver’s criticism stems from their 2001 decision — joined by the court’s two Democrats — to oust her as chief justice.

In a draft opinion, later revised but recently disclosed by Weaver on a personal Web site she maintains, Taylor wrote last year that Weaver was behaving like a “petulant only child” over the appointment of a probate judge and suggested that she go on a hunger strike “as it seemed to have the potential for everyone to be a winner.”

“We are going through a difficult spell with a troubled member,” Taylor, 64, who has been on the court since 1997, said in an interview. “This is a very angry, sad woman.”

How many cats does she own?
It’s getting ugly on the Michigan bench [AP via CNN]
Justice Elizabeth Weaver [official website]

(hidden for your protection)

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