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Term: 1982 – 2015

Justice Michael F. Cavenaugh is the longest-serving current Michigan Supreme Court justice. He was first elected in 1982 and re-elected in 1990, 1998, and 2006. He was the Chief Justice from 1991-1995. His term expired in 2015.

Justice Cavenaugh grew up in Canada and Detroit. He attended college at the University of Detroit and law school at the University of Detroit Law School. He was the youngest person elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1975, prior to which he was a judge in Lansing, a partner in the firm of Farhat, Burns, and Storey, and the Lansing City Attorney.

Notable environmental cases decided by Justice Cavenaugh include…

Green Gavels Rating by Case

After Elections, Court Vacates Prior Decision to Protect AuSable Watershed

AG Not Allowed to Appeal Leaking Underground Storage Tank Case

Beach Walking on the Great Lakes Shoreline

Citizens Lose Ability to Protect Environment by Challenging a Permit

Court Invalidates Lansing Storm Water Pollution Control Fee

Court Limits Ability of “Any Person” to Protect Michigan’s Environment

Court Limits Standing to Prevent Bottled Water Plant from Draining Wetlands

Court Upholds Governor’s Authority to Reorganize the DNR

Court Upholds Saginaw’s Ban on Hunting

Court Upholds Saginaw’s Ban on Hunting

Courts Must Allow Local Zoning Boards to Re-Zone

DNR Liable for Beach Erosion on Grand Traverse Bay

DNR’s Burt Lake Boat Launch Subject to Local Zoning Control

Environmental Contamination is a Factor in Eminent Domain Valuation

Groundwater Pollution is No Nuisance for Lowering Property Values

Hazardous Waste Treatment Plant Subject to Local Zoning Controls

Insurer Must Defend Company in Chemical Dumping Lawsuit

Insurer Must Defend Potential Polluter in EPA Investigation

Kalkaska Can’t Lease Oil & Gas Beneath City Streets

Liability Insurance Coverage for Leaking Underground Storage Tanks

Natural Gas Pipeline Requires Local Township Approval

New Cranberry Farm Subject to Wetland Permits

No Compensation for Victims of Toxic Dioxin Exposure

No Eminent Domain Compensation for Highway Construction Effects

No Eminent Domain Compensation for Highway Construction Effects

No Eminent Domain Compensation for Warren Highway Pollution

No Insurance Defense Coverage for Clare’s Leaking Landfill

No Insurance Defense for Leaking Underground Storage Tank

No Insurance Defense for Woodhaven’s Pesticide Application

No State Reimbursement for Livingston County Landfill Upgrades

No Tax Exemption for Car Emissions Testing Facilities

No Tax Exemption for Car Emissions Testing Facilities

Sand Dune Erosion Can Be Environmental Harm

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