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Diane Hathaway

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Diane Hathaway
Current Court Information:
Michigan Supreme Court
Title:   Former justice
Active:   2009-1/21/2013
Succeeded by:   David Viviano
Previous chief:   3rd Circuit Court
Past term:   1992-2009
Past position:   Judge
Personal History
Party:   Democratic
Undergraduate:   Madonna College
Law School:   Detroit College of Law, 1987

Diane Marie Hathaway was a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. Hathaway took office in January 2009 and retired on January 21, 2013. Hathaway resigned after the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission called for her suspension in January 2013.[1]

Real estate investigation

On November 19, 2012, U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade filed a civil complaint alleging that Hathaway and her husband, attorney Michael Kingsley, engaged in inappropriate behavior with respect to real estate that the couple owned in Michigan and Florida. The complaint says that they "systematically and fraudulently transferred property and hid assets in order to support their claim to ING (Bank) that they did not have the financial resources to pay the mortgage on the Michigan property."[2]

In January 2013, the Michigan Judicial Tenure Commission recommended Hathaway's immediate suspension from the court while the matter was investigated. As a result of the action, Hathaway announced her resignation from the court. Since Hathaway retired, this matter no longer falls within the jurisdiction of the Judicial Tenure Commission.[3]

Hathaway pleaded guilty to "bank fraud Tuesday for concealing assets" on January 29, 2013.[4] Her attorney asked for probation rather than prison time. However, on May 28, 2013, Hathaway was sentenced to twelve months in prison with two years of probation and was ordered to pay $90,000 in restitution.[4][5][6]

See: Michigan Supreme Court Justice Hathaway retires amidst claims of fraud and money laundering


In 1983 Hathaway obtained a B.S. in Applied Health from Madonna College and received her J.D. from Detroit College of Law in 1987.[7]


Before attending law school, Hathaway worked as a real estate broker and X-ray technician. Her legal career began with experience as an assistant prosecutor in Macomb County, where she later ran the Drug Forfeiture Division. In 1992, Hathaway was elected to the Wayne County Circuit Court. Re-elected in both 1998 and 2004, Hathaway was a judge on the court for 16 years. In 2008, she was elected to the Michigan Supreme Court.[8]

Judicial philosophy

Judge Hathaway gave an interview to Todd Berg of Michigan Lawyers Weekly on October 27, 2008, during which she touched on her judicial philosophy.

"Of Supreme Court justices, past and present, Hathaway said that, if elected, she envisions her judicial philosophy most closely resembling that of former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor or current Michigan Supreme Court Justice Marilyn Kelly. O'Connor was known as a moderate and frequent swing vote on the U.S. Supreme Court, while Kelly, a frequent and impassioned dissenter, is viewed as one of the Michigan Supreme Court's liberal justices. 'Their opinions are always well-thought out,' Hathaway said of O'Connor and Kelly."[9]
As reported by the Arab American PAC Newsletter, Hathaway had this to say about current issues, in 2006:
[Judge Hathaway] believes that warrantless wire-tapping is illegal. She believes that too many of our constitutional rights are being compromised by our government. ... On the Court of Appeals, Judge Hathaway will follow the law and not allow racial profiling and illegal search and seizures. She believes that everyone should have equal access to the courts and if a litigant doesn't understand English, they should be provided with an interpreter.[10]



Hathaway defeated Clifford Taylor on November 4. Hathaway garnered 1,852,950 votes (49.3%) to Taylor's 1,483,668 votes (39.5%).[11][12][13]

Candidate IncumbentSeatPartyElection %
Diane Hathaway ApprovedA NoTaylor SeatDemocratic49.3%
Clifford Taylor YesTaylor SeatRepublican39.4%
Robert Roddis NoTaylor SeatLibertarian11.1%


Hathaway lost in her bid for the Michigan Court of Appeals, only garnering 40 percent of the vote, to Kirsten Frank Kelly.[14]

Notable judicial rulings

Conviction of priest overturned

In 2003, Judge Hathaway sentenced Reverend Edward Olszewski for abusing a youth at St. Cecilia parish in Detroit in the 1970s. However, the Michigan Supreme Court decided in December of 2005 to overturn the conviction (by jury), stating that Olszewski "was deprived of an impartial jury" since one of the jurors had failed to state that she was a victim of sexual abuse. Hathaway had sentenced the priest to three years probation.[15][16]

Political ideology

See also: Political ideology of State Supreme Court Justices

In October 2012, political science professors Adam Bonica and Michael Woodruff of Stanford University attempted to determine the partisan ideology of state supreme court justices in their paper, State Supreme Court Ideology and 'New Style' Judicial Campaigns. A score above 0 indicated a more conservative leaning ideology while scores below 0 are more liberal. Hathaway received a Campaign finance score (CFscore) of -0.94, indicating a liberal ideological leaning. This is more liberal than the average CF score of 0.05 that justices received in Michigan. The study is based on data from campaign contributions by judges themselves, the partisan leaning of contributors to the judges or, in the absence of elections, the ideology of the appointing body (governor or legislature). This study is not a definitive label of a justice, but an academic gauge of various factors.[17]

See also

External links


MichiganMichigan Supreme CourtMichigan Court of AppealsMichigan Circuit CourtMichigan District CourtsMichigan Probate CourtsUnited States District Court for the Eastern District of MichiganUnited States District Court for the Western District of MichiganUnited States bankruptcy court, Eastern District of MichiganUnited States bankruptcy court, Western District of MichiganUnited States Court of Appeals for the Sixth CircuitMichigan countiesMichigan judicial newsMichigan judicial electionsJudicial selection in MichiganMichiganTemplate.jpg