MI Supreme Ct: Direction reverses, divide remains

The Michigan Supreme Court is a new place since 2009, when a Democrat who defeated a Republican incumbent set in motion a series of rulings favoring injured people with damage claims and tightening judicial ethics.

One thing that hasn't changed is a bitter ideological split that has led to sharp attacks, ridicule and mockery by justices against their colleagues.

Conservative forces that dominated the court for a decade lost their 4-3 majority after the November 2008 election.

That's when Democrat Diane Hathaway beat Republican Chief Justice Clifford Taylor.

The GOP still has a 4-3 majority, but Elizabeth Weaver has years of conflict with fellow Republicans and frequently sides with Democrats on civil cases.