The “Sleeping Judge” ad campaign that targeted former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Clifford Taylor was criticized, even by Democrats who wanted to see him unseated, as being possibly less than honest, and at the very least a cheap shot which had an enormous impact on the election.
Well, a similar campaign is resurrected, but this time takes aim at Justice Robert P. Young, who is up for reelection this year.
The Michigan Democratic Party’s Web site has posted a contest, inviting participants to guess “How many times has Bob Young fallen asleep on the bench?” and the winner will get a Bob “Sleepy” Young t-shirt.
The site hauls out the statistic: “An insurance industry lawyer, Young has ruled with insurance companies and corporations 80 % of the time,” which would be fair game if it’s true.
But another round of “sleeping judge” ads? Is this how we want to appeal to voters to select a Justice for our state’s highest court?
There is much discussion among members of our legal community about how campaigning and money can influence our judges. And it’s probably fair to say that it’s time to change the way we select our appellate court judges. But it seems somewhat unfair to talk up (and let’s be honest – it’s generally Democrats who would most like to see the judicial selection process changed) the unsavory process of judicial elections, while at the same time appealing to the lowest common denominator of the electorate.