Bench Memos

The End of Michigan’s Short Experiment in Liberal Judicial Activism

As I mentioned on Monday, this election cycle presented Michigan voters with an opportunity to change the direction of the Michigan Supreme Court, which was once considered one of the best courts in the nation. An extremely talented and hard-working majority of justices set an example for judges across the country by writing clear and persuasive opinions that adhered to traditional legal theories, and a number of the precedents handed down by that court were relied upon by other state supreme courts.

That all changed in 2008 when the defeat of Chief Justice Cliff Taylor gave liberal judicial activists a 4–3 majority.

But yesterday, the people of Michigan made it clear that they are done with their state’s short experiment in liberal judicial activism when they elected to return judicial conservatives to the majority. Justices Robert Young and Mary Beth Kelly won their races despite the tawdry campaigns that the trial lawyers and Democrats ran against them. Young and Kelly join two other members of the Federalist Society, Justices Stephen Markman and Maura Corrigan, on what should once again be a very formidable court.

Most Popular


Joy Reid Denies Writing Homophobic Blog Posts

MSNBC personality Joy Reid's former blog, The Reid Report, published a series of anti-gay posts, which she claims were added to the site after it was shut down, by a hacker intent on destroying her reputation and nascent cable-news career. Reid, who discontinued the blog roughly a decade ago, apologized in ... Read More

Monday Links

A Supercut of Epic Movie Explosions. Can You Solve These 10 Medieval Riddles? The cost to make a Margherita pizza: $1.77. How much restaurants charge on average for a pizza: $12. The actual costs of restaurant foods. Vintage animation lessons -- how to make things cute. London's "Great ... Read More

On Trade, No One Is Waiting for Washington

President Donald Trump’s flips and flops on trade are now as ubiquitous as his 5:00 a.m. tweets. Many predicted that trade-expansion efforts would come to a standstill and world commerce would suffer amidst all the uncertainty. Instead, the precise opposite has happened. In the last few months, it’s become ... Read More
National Security & Defense

Trump’s Syria Quandary

President Trump raised eyebrows recently when he ended a tweet lauding the airstrikes he’d ordered against chemical-weapons facilities in Syria with the words “mission accomplished.” The phrase, of course, became infamous in the aftermath of the invasion of Iraq, when President Bush used it in a speech ... Read More
PC Culture

The Dark Side of the Starbucks Stand-Down

By now the story is all over America. Earlier this month, two black men entered a Starbucks store in Philadelphia. They were apparently waiting for a friend before ordering — the kind of thing people do every day — and one of the men asked to use the restroom. A Starbucks employee refused, saying the restroom ... Read More