On Tuesday Nov. 2, Michigan voters will go to the polls to make an important decision on whom they will choose as the state’s new governor.
But from the standpoint of a consumer, by far the most important decision they will make involves the Michigan Supreme Court.
For the past two years the court has issued a series of consumer-friendly decisions. Leading the way is the case of McCormick v. Carrier, which relaxed a legal standard for auto injury claims that had been considered a draconian pro-insurance industry standard by many consumer groups.
McCormick and other pro-consumer decisions had been written by a four person majority which included Justice Elizabeth Weaver, who has recently retired from the Court and has been replaced by Michigan appellate judge Alton ‘Tom’ Davis, appointed to the Court in September. Justice Davis had issued numerous appellate decisions at odds with the former perceived anti-consumer Supreme Court faction. He is now running for election to the Court for his own seat against Mary Beth Kelly, a Wayne county judge. The other Supreme Court seat up for grabs pits Michigan appeals Judge Denise Langford-Morris against Justice Robert Young, Jr. Both Judge Kelly and Justice Young are considered by Democrats as pro-business judges who decide cases regularly against consumers.
Will Justice Davis and Judge Langford-Morris be elected to Michigan’s Supreme Court, continuing it on the same consumer-oriented tack? Or will Justice Young and Judge Kelly be elected and reverse course to make decisions which consistently fall in favor of the insurance industry? Stay tuned.