Sleeping judge, the sequel

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.

7 thoughts on “Sleeping judge, the sequel

  1. And absent the question of tastefulness, do we really want to run the exact same campaign we ran against Taylor? It’s not exactly creative.

  2. Justice Young sleeping? Seriously?
    He is by far the most active questioner on the bench. It’s hard to catch a cat nap in between rapid fire questions!

  3. AppellateLaw, that was the first thing that came to my mind too. Agree with his philosophy, or not. Agree with his opinions, or not. But say he’s asleep? I would say: probably not.

  4. I think the odds are even smaller than “probably not.”

    The fact that Brewer resorted to still shots rather than video clips speaks volumes.

    The willingness to resort to this type of deception is repugnant.

  5. It’s troubling that Mark Brewer is an attorney and coordinates such political/judicial campaigns. He does not evidence any respect for the judiciary or cares about the consequences this type of nonsense has on public confidence in the judiciary. There is no need to adopt the “win at any cost” mentality because this is not an acceptable cost.

  6. I am a “Democrat,” which is to say I more often vote for that party’s candidates by far, but this is really shameful. If Brewer can’t distinguish between the truth and a lie, he has no business being in charge of the Michigan party. And this is definitely a lie. Like it or not, Justice Young is certainly one of the smartest and most engaged members of the Court. This attack is really deplorable. Criticize Justice Young for his views — there is plenty to talk about — but don’t stoop to such bald-faced fictions.

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