Michigan Supreme Court To Have 5-2 Conservative Majority In Wake Of Hathaway's Resignation
LANSING, MI - Republican Gov. Rick Snyder will have an opportunity to increase the Michigan Supreme Court’s conservative majority in the wake of Justice Diane Hathaway’s departure.
Hathaway, who was nominated by Democrats, will retire on Jan. 21 and is not going to participate in the court’s oral arguments scheduled for this week. Hathaway’s attorney said the justice served notice in late December she would retire. But news of her plan didn’t become public until Monday -- shortly after the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission filed a formal complaint and called for her interim suspension in light of a federal lawsuit alleging bank fraud and money laundering.
Hathaway’s departure gives the Republican governor a rare opportunity to replace a justice who was nominated by Democrats. Republicans now have a 4-3 majority on the court, but the GOP is likely to have a 5-2 edge after the upcoming appointment.
Snyder’s first selection to fill a vacancy on the Michigan Supreme Court came in early 2011, when he named Brian Zahra to replace Maura Corrigan.