Clifford Taylor

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This article is about the judge. For the composer, see Clifford Taylor (composer). For the English cricketer, see Clifford Taylor (cricketer).
Clifford W. Taylor
66th Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court
In office
January 7, 2005 – January 1, 2009
Preceded by Maura D. Corrigan
Succeeded by Marilyn Jean Kelly
Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court
In office
September 22, 1997[1] – January 1, 2009
Appointed by John Engler
Preceded by Dorothy Comstock Riley
Succeeded by Diane Marie Hathaway
Personal details
Born November 9, 1942
Flint, Michigan
Spouse(s) Lucille
Alma mater University of Michigan (B.A., 1964)
George Washington University (J.D., 1967)
Military service
Allegiance United States of America
Service/branch Navy
Years of service 1967-1971

Clifford "Cliff" Taylor was Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court from 2005 through 2009.

Taylor was appointed to the court in 1997 by then-Governor John Engler, ran for election to the balance of the appointed term in 1998 and was reelected in 2000. He was chosen by his fellow justices to be the Chief Justice twice, in 2005 and 2007.[2] One of his opponents in 1998 was Matthew R. Abel, nominated by the Reform Party of Michigan. Abel used the campaign to protest Taylor's conflict of interest with his wife's position in the State Executive Branch as Legal Advisor to the Governor. Abel also demanded that Taylor resign.

Taylor is a graduate of the University of Michigan and The George Washington University, and lives near Lansing with his wife of 39 years, Lucille Taylor, and his two sons.[3] While attending Michigan, he was initiated as a brother of Sigma Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity. He served as President of the Michigan Interfraternity Council in 1963, leading a landmark policy change which gave fraternities judicial autonomy from the University.[4]

Wayne County Circuit Judge Diane Marie Hathaway defeated Justice Taylor in the 2008 Supreme Court election. The Michigan Campaign Finance Network estimates that over six million dollars were spent on the campaign, including so-called unregulated "issue ads."

Taylor's tenure was marked by complaints about conflicts of interest due to the campaign finance system.

After Taylor's defeat in the election, the Court chose the more liberal Marilyn Jean Kelly to succeed him as Chief Justice.[5]