The battle for the Michigan Supreme Court has gone on intermittently for years, but it seems to be approaching a climax this year. In 2000, the democrats launched an all-out attack against Republican-nominated judges "Markman and Taylor and Young". But all of them went on to win easily. The next few elections were relatively muted, with only some smears from the likes of Jeffrey Feiger. All the incumbents since then have been reelected.
But it appears that democrats are increasingly desperate to take control of the court. This year, the democrat party sponsored a ballot initiative deceitfully named the Reform Michigan Government Now (RMGN) initiative. Among other things, RMGN would have eliminated the seats of Republican justices Robert Young and Steven Markman. This amendment was eventually thrown out for being far to long to qualify as a constitutional amendment. The Michigan democrat party spent $1.4 million from unidentified donors on the effort.
Taylor, Young, Markman, and Maura Corrigan form a conservative 'block' of four on the seven-member court. The court also has two liberal democrats and one erratic Republican who has vehemently attacked Taylor and often sides with the democrats. Replacing Taylor with a democrat would swing the court far to the left.
Taylor has served on the Michigan Supreme Court since 1997. He is a Navy veteran, former assistant prosecutor, and formerly served on the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Taylor is a strict constructionist who believes in applying the law as written, not making it up to suit his own political preferences. He has protected the principle of personal responsibility against trial lawyers who want to blame others so they can rob them of their money. By keeping damages to reasonable levels, Taylor not only protects individual businesses, but protects a better business climate, benefiting Michigan's economy.
One frequent charge democrats make against Taylor is that he favors big business against the little guy. But this is patently false. Taylor favors liberty and the rule of law against all their opponents, occasionally including big business. Taylor led the court in overturning the infamous Poletown case, which had said that government could take people's property and give it to business for redevelopment. Taylor sided with individual rights over the interests of big business. Taylor also rebuffed legal actions against the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative (MCRI), a measure to eliminate governmental racial preferences which was opposed by the Michigan Chamber of Commerce.
Taylor supports law and order, and is tough on crime. He supports punishing criminals, not embarking on a quest to find the 'root causes' of crime. But this does not mean that he will necessarily side with government law enforcement agencies over individual liberties. He ruled against efforts to block Michigan's 2000 concealed carry law, which was opposed by many law enforcement officials at the time. Thus he sided with individual liberties over government power.
Taylor's opponent, Diane Hathaway, endorsed the RMGN proposal, which was described in an internal democrat party presentation as "changing the rules of politics to help democrats". This doesn't speak well to her respect for the rule of law.
Cliff Taylor is a highly respected and accomplished justice who has defended individual liberties and the rule of law time and again. He deserves to be reelected.
See Taylor's website: http://www.clifftaylor.com/