“Michigan Justice Announces Retirement After Accusation of ‘Blatant and Brazen’ Misconduct”

by Walter Olson on January 10, 2013

“Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway filed retirement papers last month, but she didn’t announce her plans until Monday when the state Judicial Tenure Commission accused her of ‘blatant and brazen’ misconduct.” Hathaway had allegedly hidden assets from creditors during a real estate short sale and responded untruthfully during a judicial disciplinary investigation of the matter. [Debra Cassens Weiss/ABA Journal, Volokh]

It is worth noting that Justice Hathaway won an upset victory over an admirable incumbent, Chief Justice Cliff Taylor, following 2008’s most unfair attack ad, in which Democrats broadcast a photo of Taylor with his eyes closed on the bench — the sort of picture that, given human physiology and the right kind of camera work, could be obtained of any jurist — and accused him of sleeping. Taylor told the Detroit News that the piece “wasn’t true, but it was a very compelling piece of political theater”. I noted the story four years ago. In hindsight, we can see that the attack ad not only took down an outstanding judge, but elevated a challenger who proved little credit to the bench.

{ 4 comments }

1 Bill Poser 01.11.13 at 4:42 am

I’m amazed that someone obviously reasonably intelligent and familiar with the legal system would expect to get away with what she did. Surely she knows that real estate transactions are a matter of public record.

2 Marty Murphy 01.12.13 at 3:20 pm

The correct response to this incident would be to go back and see who were her supporters in that race. Publish their names and hold them accountable for disgracing the judiciary.

3 Hugo S. Cunningham 01.18.13 at 8:10 am

“Sleazy come, sleazy go…”

4 Vern Dennis 01.18.13 at 2:52 pm

I’ve noticed that the Michigan plaintiff blogs have mostly avoiding on the whole sordid affair, although the the biggest whiner of the bunch Steve Gursten posted on his blog on the likely GOP Super-Majority on the Michigan Supreme Court

http://www.michiganautolaw.com/auto-lawyers-blog/2013/01/17/the-perfect-storm-republicans-to-control-michigan-supreme-court/

He never once mentions how Hathaway’s corruption led to an additional open seat. I posted a comment pointing this out on his blog, but I don’t expect the comment to be approved since he generally only post comments that agree with his stance

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