|Current Court Information:|
|Michigan Supreme Court|
|Past position:||Michigan Court of Appeals|
|Bachelors:||University of Detroit, 1962|
|Law School:||University of Detroit Law School, 1966|
Michael F. Cavanagh is a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. His current term expires January 1, 2015. Justice Cavanagh was elected to the court in 1982 and won re-election in 1990, 1998, and 2006. He served as the court's Chief Justice from 1991-95.
He began his career as a law clerk for the Michigan Court of Appeals. In 1967, Justice Cavanagh was hired as an assistant city attorney for the City of Lansing and thereafter was appointed as Lansing City Attorney, serving until 1969. He then became a partner in the Lansing law firm of Farhat, Burns and Story, P.C. In 1971, he was elected judge of the 54-A District Court. Cavanagh was then elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals, where he served from 1975-1982. At that time, he was the youngest person ever elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Awards and assocations
- Former Chairman of the Board, American Heart Association
- Past President, Incorporated Society of Irish/American Lawyers
- Board of Directors, Thomas M. Cooley Law School
- Member, Commission on the Future of the University of Detroit Mercy
For a complete list of Justice Cavanagh's civic activities, please visit: Michigan Supreme Court, Biography of Michael Cavanagh
2006 Supreme Court bid
Cavanagh was nominated by the state Democratic party, though judges officially run as non-partisan officials in Michigan. He won with a staggering 78% of the vote, defeating Jane Beckering. That year, his campaign raised $307,738. 
Marilyn Kelly and Michael Cavanagh dissented from Michigan Supreme Court's ruling that the Michigan Citizens for Water Conservation has no standing to sue to protect waterways that Nestle Waters North America draws from. Justice Elizabeth Weaver wrote the decision is an "assault" on the rights of residents to protect the state's natural resources, and fellow justices, Marilyn Kelly and Michael Cavanagh relied on a theory that bodies of water are interconnected, according to Michigan Live.
In a 2006 case, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-3 that the First Amendment does not protect a six-year sexual harassment case from dismissal because the plaintiff and her attorneys ignored a judge's warning not to publicize an expunged criminal conviction. The high court decision reversed a ruling from the Michigan Court of Appeals. Cavanagh was one of three dissenting justices, and wrote one of the two minority opinions in the case.
Affirmative action petition
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled 5-2 in 2006 that the Michigan Civil Rights Initiative should appear on the statewide ballot. The majority opinion written by Markman said, "The signers of these petitions did not sign the oral representations made to them by circulators; rather they signed written petitions that contained the actual language of the (ballot question). In carrying out the responsibilities of self-government, 'we the people' of Michigan are responsible for our own actions...[a person who signed the petition] ...cannot blame others when he signs a petition without knowing what it says." Cavanagh and Marilyn Kelly dissented from the court majority and said they would have granted an appeal.
- Michigan Supreme Court, Biographies of the Justices
- Project Vote Smart - Justice Michael F. Cavanagh (MI)
- League of Women Voters: Supreme Court Campaign 2006
- BNET.com, "Michigan harassment case ends with published evidence", August 23, 2006
- ↑ Project Vote Smart, Justice Michael F. Cavanagh (MI)
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Michigan Supreme Court, Biography of Justices
- ↑ Michigan Department of State, Election Results 11/7/2006
- ↑ Justice Cavanagh's Follow the Money Stats Page
- ↑ Michigan Live, "Court limits conservation group's water rights"
- ↑ Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, "Speech about inadmissable evidence not protected," August 16, 2006
- ↑ The Detroit News, "Michigan Supreme Court Allows Anti-affirmative Action Plan on Ballot", July 14, 2006