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Monday, February 11, 2013

Courts - "Michigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway's quick resignation helps colleagues skirt a disciplinary thicket"

Interesting article in the Detroit Free Press, reported by Brian Dickerson, on Justice Hathaway's resignation. A sample:

She announced her resignation just weeks before pleading guilty last month to federal charges stemming from a short sale in which she fraudulently concealed her net worth. She faces up to 18 months in prison when U.S. District Judge John Corbett O'Meara sentences her on May 28.

But the federal investigation that culminated in Hathaway's plea deal might never have gained traction if Michigan's Judicial Tenure Commission hadn't responded aggressively to the allegations against her.

The tenure commission was established under Michigan's 1963 Constitution to supervise the ethical conduct of Michigan's 600-plus judges. But whether its jurisdiction extended to justices of the state's highest court was an open question until December, when the JTC laid out its case against Hathaway in a 19-page complaint and asked her Supreme Court colleagues to remove her. * * *

Hathaway's case is the first instance in which the JTC has sought to remove a sitting state Supreme Court justice. And because neither the Constitution nor operating rules ordained by the state Supreme Court explicitly establish its jurisdiction over justices, the JTC's assertion that it had the authority to seek Hathaway's removal is precedent-setting.

See also Jan. 23rd ILB entry.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on February 11, 2013 11:18 AM
Posted to Courts in general