Last week’s 4-3 re-election of Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford Taylor also saw an escalation of tension on the court in the form of a dissent by Justice Elizabeth A. Weaver that begins:
It is necessary that I dissent from the election of Chief Justice Clifford Taylor as Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Chief Justice Taylor has proven that he cannot properly lead the Michigan Supreme Court at this time. The people of Michigan deserve to have a Chief Justice who will conduct the people’s business in an orderly, professional, and fair manner.
We have published Justice Weaver’s dissent in its entirety as we think it is worthy of your consideration and since we can’t find it anywhere else (including places where we would expect to find it such as the Michigan Supreme Court web site) Read Weaver rips fellow justices in scathing dissent in the Record-Eagle.
Also, in Odor in the Court, Detroit Free Press editorial page editor Ron Dzwonkowski writes:
…the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission, which is charged with protecting public confidence in the courts by holding judges accountable for misconduct, certainly has enough reason in Weaver’s dissents to begin an inquiry. … Weaver has laid out some serious issues. If these charges were made about any other court in the state, there would be at least an investigation. Either some justices of the Supreme Court have problems or Weaver does. Either way, something doesn’t smell right.
UPDATE (January 10)
The Detroit Free Press has an article regarding Chief Justice Taylor’s response to Justice Weaver’s accusations. In the article, Chief Justice Taylor says that if Justice Weaver has evidence of actual impropriety, she should present it to the State Police, FBI or Judicial Tenure Commission, which investigates charges of improper conduct by judges. According to the article:
…Weaver said in a telephone interview she has not taken her complaints to law enforcement authorities because she has not alleged the conduct involved criminal activity. Similarly, she said the Judicial Tenure Commission would be powerless to deal with complaints against members of the Supreme Court because the court renders final judgment on its recommendations.