Supreme Court Justice Young warns of retaliation?
Michigan Supreme Court Justice Robert P. Young, an advocate for insurance interests and frequent critic of "trial lawyers," described his recent re-election campaign by relating an epigram to the Detroit Free Press: "When you shoot at the king, you're supposed to kill him."
The comment is widely perceived as a threat by Justice Young to retaliate against litigants and attorneys who do not share his judicial philosophy--and whom he apparently believes contributed to the opposing side of an ugly judicial election campaign. No wonder the Chamber of Commerce is publicizing remarks suggesting that it expects the new Supreme Court to rapidly overturn any decisions of the past few years that insurers did not like. It is a sad state of affairs when citizens look to a court for "justice" but the outcome of their case is likely to be influenced or even pre-determined by financial contributions and distasteful campaigning.
Personally, we did not like the tenor of the campaign against Young, however, since the Chamber began dumping [literally millions of] dollars into Michigan Supreme Court judicial campaigns in 2004, these races have been a model of falsehood and mis-information, characterized by distortion and innuendo. Young has benefited from this style of campaigning and cannot claim to be "above the fray." Unfortunately, the system of Supreme Court election we have in Michigan has created an overly partisan judiciary that is unduly susceptible to financial manipulation. And justice suffers as a result. Particularly justice for people who don't have much financial influence to throw around.