Traverse City Record-Eagle
---- — LANSING — Gov. Rick Snyder on Wednesday named a Macomb County judge to the Michigan Supreme Court to replace a justice who stepped down last month amid a scandal over her real estate dealings.
The appointment of Chief Circuit Judge David Viviano, 41, gives Republicans a 5-2 edge on the high court. Democrat Diane Hathaway pleaded guilty to fraud in a scheme to mislead a bank in the short sale of her Grosse Pointe Park home.
Viviano, of Sterling Heights, was elected to the Macomb County bench in 2006. He previously worked for large law firms in Detroit and Chicago before starting his own practice in Mount Clemens. He graduated from Hillsdale College and the University of Michigan Law School.
"David's an outstanding candidate. He's earned this," Snyder said as he introduced Viviano during a news conference at the governor's office. "If you look back at David's career, it's been one of success from the earliest days."
The GOP governor said Viviano is a "rule-of-law" judge who understands the proper role of the judiciary and interprets the law fairly. He also called him an innovator who has been active in changing the jury system and improving technology in the courts.