Justice Robert Young Jr. is the former Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court appointed to that Court in 1999. Justice Young was then elected in 2000 and 2002 and again won reelection in 2010 for a term ending in 2019. Justice Young was elected Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court on January 5, 2011, where he served with distinction by improving the service and performance of the Michigan judiciary. In acknowledgment of his extensive knowledge and fair application of state, federal, and constitutional law, in May 2016, Young was selected to be on a list of potential nominees to the United States Supreme Court.
As a self-described judicial traditionalist, Young has committed to a scholarly and neutral position in his interpretation of the law while simultaneously acknowledging the very human consequences of his decisions. As described by the Wall Street Journal, Young’s Court could be described as “the finest court in the nation” and “a leader in attempting to restore a proper balance between the judiciary, the legislature, and the people. (“The Finest Court in the Nation.” The Wall Street Journal, October 13, 2005.)
Whether authoring decisions involving disputes over the power of the government to transfer by eminent domain privately owned real estate to another private entity for a commercial business and technology park (Wayne County v. Hathcock (2004)) or applying Michigan’s constitutional standing doctrine to the Michigan Environmental Protection Act (Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation v. Nestle Waters North America (2007)), Young has been widely admired for his ability to address complex matters of law to deliver fair and legally sound resolutions.
Both before his appointment to and after his retirement from the bench, Young spent two decades in private practice. While in private practice and in his role as general counsel in two major organizations, he regularly resolved complex federal and state statutory, common law, and commercial legal issues. His broad understanding of how businesses and governments function at all levels and how litigation and appellate processes work have impressed upon him the need for effective and dispute resolution by an arbitrator/mediator with a broad and diverse background.