Michigan Supreme Court

Hugh Clarke Jr. photo
Courtesy photo / Ingham County District Court

One of the criminal justice issues being discussed during this year’s One Book, One Community program is mandatory minimum sentences. The Michigan Supreme Court eliminated mandatory minimums earlier this year. We talk with District Court Judge Hugh Clarke Jr. and MSU criminal justice professor Christopher Smith in advance of a forum on the subject tonight.

courtesy Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society

Former U.S. Sen. Robert Griffin of Michigan was laid to rest yesterday in Traverse City. Griffin died late last week at the age of 91. After serving in World War II, the Detroit native began practicing law in Traverse City. The Republican eventually served in the U.S. House and Senate for a total of 22 years until he was narrowly defeated for re-election to the Senate by Democrat Carl Levin in 1978.



The Michigan Supreme Court begins hearing arguments today involving two disputed laws passed during the first term of Governor Rick Snyder.

First, justices will consider whether the state’s recent ‘right-to-work’ law, which eliminated the payment of union dues as a condition of employment, also applies to unionized state employees.  

Second, it will explore whether the state exceeded its authority in 2011 when Michigan pensioners became subject to a 4-percent contribution from their pay in order to keep full benefits.


When 2014 comes to a close, so too will an era in Michigan’s judicial system. On New Year’s Day, Justice Michael Cavanagh will retire after 32 years on the Michigan Supreme Court. Only one other person in history has served longer on the state’s highest court, and not by much longer.

Scott Pohl/WKAR

Last month, 40-year-old Richard Bernstein was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court. He’s widely known for his work with his father’s Michigan-based law firm. His brother and sister are also part of the Sam Bernstein team, and all are well known from the firm’s television advertising.