Sterling HeightsMarch 5, 2013
Gov. makes Viviano newest state Supreme Court justice
By Eric Czarnik
C & G Staff Writer
A judge from Sterling Heights now has a seat on Michigan’s highest court.
In a Feb. 27 announcement, Gov. Rick Snyder announced that his choice to fill the latest vacancy on the Michigan Supreme Court is Judge David Viviano.
Before Snyder’s appointment, Viviano was the 16th Judicial Circuit and Macomb County Probate Courts’ chief judge. He first became a Circuit Court judge in 2006.
Snyder described Viviano, 41, as an outstanding candidate who has had a successful career since its earliest days. Snyder praised the judge as an innovator and advocate of e-filing and jury reform in Michigan.
“He’s truly a rule of law judge, too, which is critically important,” Snyder said. “He knows the role that the judiciary has, which is to look at the law, see how it’s written and make sure it’s fairly and impartially applied.”
Viviano called the appointment a tremendous honor for him and his family, and he confirmed that he believes in the rule of law.
“I do believe in the separation of powers,” he said. “I believe it’s the judge’s role to fairly interpret the law and to defer to the policy choices that were made by the Legislature.”
Viviano’s educational background includes diplomas from Hillsdale College and the University of Michigan Law School. He also did city attorney work for Center Line and worked at law firms in Detroit and Chicago — as well as the one he eventually created.
Viviano will fill the vacancy last held by former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway. Hathaway resigned in January and has pleaded guilty to bank fraud.
Bill Ballenger, editor of the newsletter Inside Michigan Politics, predicted that the Viviano appointment will strengthen the conservative majority on the Michigan Supreme Court, which was 4-3 with Hathaway on it and 4-2 once she stepped down. Now the balance will be 5-2, he said.
“I don’t think that it’s going to represent a sea change in their opinions because Viviano is likely to reinforce what already was a four-member conservative Republican majority,” Ballenger said.
Ballenger predicted that Viviano could participate in rulings on potential upcoming issues, such as the restructuring of public employee pension and health benefits, medical marijuana, insurance issues and the recently passed right to work legislation.
State Rep. Henry Yanez, D-Sterling Heights, commented on the appointment.
“I think it’s great for Macomb County, and I’m very excited to see a jurist from Macomb County,” Yanez said. “I’m very excited and happy for Judge Viviano. I think he’ll do a great job.”
Macomb County Commissioner Bob Smith, a Democrat representing the 12th District, called Viviano fair and thorough on his judgments. He also highlighted the innovations that Viviano, who pushed for a paperless court system, brought to the circuit court.
“I think that it’s wonderful for the state, but a loss for the county,” Smith said.
Learn more about the Michigan Supreme Court at www.michigan.gov.
Staff Writer Robert Guttersohn contributed to this report.
- Last 24 Hours
- Last 7 Days
- Last 30 Days
- Local chefs share trade secrets for creating the perfect holiday cookie - Metro Detroit
- Mount Clemens man accused of sexually assaulting daughters - Mount Clemens
- Parks and Rec confirms ITC won’t work on trail until 2014 - West Bloomfield
- Two suspects on loose after robbing Comerica Bank - Clinton Township
- Special needs program receives $10,000 grant for iPads - Hazel Park
- Ferndale introduces 30-minute free parking zones around city - Ferndale
- Man charged for indecent exposure on Hall Road - Utica
- Lieutenant promoted to Deputy Police Chief - St. Clair Shores
- Woman found dead in Warren home - Warren
- Former Birmingham mayor arrested again on meth charges - Birmingham
- Homeowner shoots at home invasion suspect - Harper Woods
- WWTHS graduate killed in Libya remembered - Warren
- Love surrounds local teacher fighting cancer - Warren
- Community rallies for Shelby boy with brain cancer - Shelby Township
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer - Shelby Township
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams - Walled Lake
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee - Macomb Township
- East Detroit student dies following pool accident - Eastpointe
- Attorney dies in Harper Avenue crash - St. Clair Shores
- CVHS students to stage production of ‘Hairspray’ - Clinton Township
- Missing woman found dead - West Bloomfield
- Sterling woman hurt in shooting - Sterling Heights
- Christmas comes to the Shores - St. Clair Shores
- County board considers regional water authority proposal - Macomb County
- Shelby boy battles rare form of cancer
- BHS Orchestra selected to perform at Carnegie Hall
- Lions Thanksgiving halftime show spotlights WLC band, cheer teams
- Macomb Home Depot creates college scholarship in honor of deceased employee
- Child prodigy becomes youngest artist exhibited at Park West Gallery
- All in the family
- Christmas Wonderfest brings holiday wonder to Novi