The portrait of former Chief Justice Conrad L. Mallett, Jr. was presented to the Michigan Supreme Court on Wednesday, April 25, in a special session of the Court. To watch online, visit the Virtual Court on the State Bar of Michigan’s website. Mallett was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court by Governor James Blanchard in 1990. He was subsequently re-elected in 1992 and 1994. He was elected Chief Justice in 1997 and was the first African American Chief Justice on the Michigan Supreme Court. Mallett left the Court in 1999. The portrait of Mallett was painted by Washington, D.C. artist Simmie Knox. Mr. Knox’s other notable portrait commissions include the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Damon Keith, former President Bill Clinton, Muhammed Ali, and Bill Cosby.
The Annual Membership Luncheon at the Detroit Athletic Club was held Thursday, April 19. The historical vignette was presented by Lawrence Glazer, author of Wounded Warrior: The Rise and Fall of Michigan Governor John Swainson. Read more about the luncheon in the Detroit Legal News.
Society members receive an exclusive discount on the book. Visit MSU Press and enter the code M031201 at checkout to purchase the book for $20.00, nearly half the regular publisher’s price of $39.95.
There are only a few days left in the month of March, however, celebrating the historic accomplishments of women can continue all year. Visit the Women and the Law section of our website to learn about Michigan women who’ve blazed a trail in the legal field. Then be sure to visit our membership page to renew or begin a membership that will help us fund a permanent exhibit featuring the early women of the Court.
Additionally, our friends at the Michigan Women’s Historical Center and Hall of Fame recently opened a new exhibit entitled Women Who Dared to Lead, which features photos and biographies of several important women in the law, including our first woman justice Mary Stallings Coleman, Society founder Dorothy Comstock Riley, and former Justices Patricia Boyle and Elizabeth Weaver. The exhibit runs into next February and can be viewed during regular visiting hours for the museum, which is located at 213 W. Malcom X Street, Lansing 48933.
Shown in this photo are the exhibit label for Justices Coleman and Boyle, and a campaign sign from Justice Boyle’s re-election campaign. Read more about Patricia Boyle’s impressive legal career in her Hall of Fame biography.
As Americans, we will celebrate Presidents Day on Monday, February 20th. The holiday honors the legacies of all U.S. Presidents and coincides with the birthdays of George Washington (Feb 22) and Abraham Lincoln (Feb 12). A glance at the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Reference Guide shows that February is a busy month for the birthdays of historic Michigan Supreme Court justices. There are 11 birthdays in this short month. In fact, the only month that has the same number of historic Michigan Supreme Court justice birthdays is August.
This month we celebrate the lives of the following Michigan Supreme Court justices:
Feb 8 Franz C. Kuhn and John S. McDonald; Feb 17 John W. Champlin; Feb 19 Ross Wilkins; Feb 20 Otis Smith; Feb 21 George H. Durand; Feb 23 G. Mennen Williams; Feb 24 Howard Wiest; Feb 25 James V. Campbell; Feb 27 Blair Moody, Jr.; Feb 28 Samuel Douglass
Read more about these historic figures, see their official portraits, and even listen to oral history interviews by following the links. You will find that this impressive list includes a former Governor, the first African American justice, and a member of the Big Four.