Swearing-In Ceremony For Justice Marilyn Kelly

JANUARY 8, 1997

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: Ladies and gentlemen. On behalf of my colleagues on the Michigan Supreme Court I want to welcome you here to our courtroom. We appreciate your attendance today on this very, very special session of our Court. We look forward to the participation of our newest colleague and the decisions that the Michigan Supreme Court will make. And we’re glad that you all came to witness an historic moment. With that, let me introduce my colleague and my sister, Michigan Supreme Court Justice PATRICIA BOYLE for further welcoming remarks.

 JUSTICE BOYLE: Thank you Mr. Chief Justice. Chief Justice MALLETT, Reverend Russell, associate justices, Mr. Attorney General, all of our distinguished judicial colleagues from the Court of Appeals and the trial judiciary, our distinguished visitors from Bosnia, the Bosnian judiciary, other distinguished officials and the friends and supporters of Justice-elect MARILYN JEAN KELLY. It’s of course a real honor and a pleasure for me to have this second opportunity to participate in an investiture of our honoree, MARILYN KELLY.

The first time that I had this opportunity was in 1988, and I participated then as a representative of this Court in Marilyn’s investiture to the Court of Appeals. MARILYN KELLY was the first woman to be elected to the First Division of that Court. On that occasion I observed, and I must modestly say with some degree of prophetic sense, that of the six seats that had been filled at that election, three were filled by women, proved that the electorate had tremendous confidence in the performance of women in judicial office. And of course today, three campaigns and six years later, the votes of more than one million Michigan citizens have proven that point and MARILYN KELLY assumes her place on this Court and Michigan becomes the only state supreme court in the nation currently in which women are in the majority. This is an historic occasion.

Although this day belongs to Marilyn and her supporters, it belongs also to history.

Only a handful of Michigan’s lawyers have ever achieved the privilege of being an associate justice. Marilyn is the 99th such person. Only 60 persons, 58 men and 2 women, among them DOROTHY RILEY, have been Chief Justice. Because what is said here today will be transcribed and set down in a volume of the Michigan Reports to stand as a permanent record, it is only fitting to record with what pleasure, pride, and confidence we take the bench for the first time under the leadership of our new Chief Justice, the first African-American Chief Justice in the century and a half of this Court’s existence. No one building, it is people. Their stories are our story. Their experiences are the life of the institution. When Marilyn and I and Judge Svenson and Maura and JANET NEFF first began to practice law, there were only a few women trailblazers in the judiciary. MARY STALLINGS COLEMAN, whose portrait hangs at the rear of the courtroom, was one of our trailblazers.

She was the first woman elected to the Court and the first woman to be Chief Justice. On the day that her portrait was presented, MARY COLEMAN told everyone assembled that one of the first questions she asked herself when she knew that she had won the election was how the historically all-male court would adjust to a woman. Those of you who were here on that day will remember her answer. She said, and I quote, “It adjusted with graciousness. Problems were trivial. For instance, the designers of these quarters had never thought of a woman on the Court. So, we declared the one toilet facility in the court robing conference area in back of the bench to be unisex.” It’s also part of our history that once MARY COLEMAN became Chief Justice, all mention of the historical tradition, and I again quote from several investitures that “the justices’ ladies had prepared pastries for the reception to follow,” disappeared forever from the annals of the Court.

Of course, Marilyn and I and all honest feminists acknowledge that we would never have come this far this fast had we not had the support of many good men who were willing to share power and support us in our objectives. So having said that, I hope that you understand that the next story I tell is not gender-bashing. It is just one more link, my story, in the evolution of the judiciary. When I first joined the Court, MARY COLEMAN had retired, and I was the only woman among the seven justices. Shortly after I was sworn in my colleagues and I were in conference together considering the first full opinion that I had written and I was very excited about that. After some deliberation the justices indicated that they were prepared to agree with me if I would make some minor changes. So I hurried across the hall to my office, made the changes and returned to the conference room. I was astounded to find the conference room empty except for one staff person. All my colleagues were gone, and this staff person was waiting for my return. When I asked where they had gone the clerk advised me that they had had a prior commitment. And when I pressed for details he confessed, knowing that I hadn’t been invited, that the men had left to play golf. Well, I returned to my office and I sent each justice a formal memo which read, “On today’s date you unfortunately had to leave conference early because of a prior commitment. I think it is only fair to advise you that at next week’s conference I similarly will have to leave early. I am attending a Tupperware party.” Well, I’ve never learned to play golf, but I can tell you that from that day to this I’ve always been invited.

Let me speak now just briefly of some of the qualities that our honoree brings to the bench. I know that the people who have also been invited to speak will detail these qualities more specifically. But I would simply like to say that Marilyn brings to the Court solving. From her years at the Court of Appeals she brings her experience and the diligence and scholarship required to meet those responsibilities. She has a particular commitment to family law issues, something that every court must give particular attention to, and that commitment is exemplified in her opinions and in her long-standing association with the Family Law Section of the State Bar.

In closing I would be remiss if I did not speak very briefly about a final quality of Marilyn’s. Perhaps because she genuinely likes people and she really listens to them, she’s one of those people that doesn’t simply hear you talk. She really listens to you. She has the capacity, as the number of people who are assembled here today demonstrate, to inspire confidence in her. To inspire the belief, if not in government, at least in the unflagging devotion of one public servant. In my judgment as the experience of our former colleague, Dennis Archer in the City of Detroit illustrates, regaining public confidence is a matter of inspiring that belief in people. When people understand the sincerity with which public officials approach their duties and believe in it, we are on the pathway to reclaiming public trust. Marilyn has that capacity, which, in addition to the other qualities that I have mentioned, well prepare her for the heavy responsibilities she is about to assume here, and I am confident that she will grace our family as she graced the Court of Appeals and reward the expectations of all those whose support has brought her to this wonderful moment. Thank you Mr. Chief Justice.

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: Thank you very much. And now presenting the request for the administration of the oath, the Honorable Vesta Svenson.

 JUDGE SVENSON: Good afternoon. I’ve known Marilyn for thirty-three years. In 1967 I was surprised to find her in the same law school class as me. It was our first night of school, and we had met somewhat casually, if not politically, before. But since that night, we have cemented a friendship. I’m going to try and be uncharacteristically brief because I see that there are a number of people after me and I don’t want to steal anyone’s thunder.

But occasions such as these have an aura of rhapsody that cannot be denied. Marilyn is one of the most tenacious individuals I have ever met. That is not perhaps the most important or overriding characteristic that she has, but tenacity is definitely there. She is very secure in herself. I think that is critical for an associate justice of this Court. That secureness in her nature is a wonderful grounding for her love of the law, her compassion, her integrity, and also her willingness to be collegial with these other six justices. Any new justice must bring a new flavor and a new character to the Court in which she or he serves. And I’m certain that that will be true with Marilyn, my goodness, I guess I’d have to now say Justice KELLY. But I think that she has a commitment to resolving the difficult legal issues that we know that she will face along with her brothers and sisters. And I think this is good.

JUDGE SVENSON: And I am delighted. Chief Justice CONRAD MALLETT will now administer the oath.

CLERK: All rise.

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: Your Honor, would you please raise your right hand. [Chief Justice MALLETT administers oath and Justice KELLY repeats after him.]

JUSTICE KELLY: I, MARILYN KELLY, do solemnly swear that I will uphold the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Michigan and that I will carry out the duties and responsibilities of a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court to the best of my abilities, so help me God.

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: Ladies and gentlemen, MARILYN KELLY. On this day of firsts, it is necessary and proper that Victoria Roberts now present the gavel. Victoria needs no introduction except to say that she is the President of the State Bar of Michigan and the first African-American woman to direct all of us forward in our public duties. Welcome.

 MS. ROBERTS: Thank you Chief Justice MALLETT. Good afternoon. Justice KELLY would you step down please. Your Honors, everyone, the people of the State of Michigan made a very wise decision when they cast their votes to elevate Judge MARILYN KELLY to your bench. The people, the lawyers of the State Bar of Michigan are very proud to claim you as a member, and I hope that the passing of this gavel to you on behalf of the State Bar of Michigan can symbolize what we as lawyers and judges in this State have in common as officers of the Court, as public servants, as people who are working together as partners in our legal system. Justice KELLY, you certainly add a dimension to our courts, you certainly honor the State Bar of Michigan. And I hope that with your addition to the Supreme Court and with Justice CONRAD MALLETT as the Chief Justice that we can continue to enjoy a cordial relationship with the bench and that we can continue to work for the common good of lawyers and judges and the people of the State of Michigan.

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: It is now time for the presentation of the robe. Attorney James C. Lamb, Jr., Dawn Laguens, and Sandra Lax will be responsible.

 MR. LAMB: Justice KELLY, we can call you justice now. It was a privilege and an honor for Dawn and Sandy and I to work on your campaign and to help elect you to this great office. We look forward to the relationships that we’ve developed over the last few years or few months to continue for many years to come. You’ve become a good friend of mine personally and it’s been a pleasure to work with everyone else who helped elect you to this office. It’s now an honor and a privilege to present you with the robe.


CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: It’s now my pleasure to ask a very good friend of ours, but a particularly good friend of Justice KELLY and of mine. The Honorable Ken Siegel is one Governor Blanchard, this is the first appointment you ought to make in Genesee County.

He’s an historic figure; he’s a good man. Judge Kenneth Siegel.

 JUDGE SIEGEL: Thank you so much, Chief Justice MALLETT and justices of the Supreme Court. Please don’t be concerned, I timed these remarks this morning. They’re only thirty-seven minutes. I first knew Marilyn when she was running for the Court of Appeals, and I’ve known her very well since. I guess what has struck me the most about Marilyn is that someone can serve on a powerful appellate court such as the Court of Appeals, and now the Supreme Court, without losing any of her humanity and basic human qualities. To me it’s just inspiring to see a person in this position of power with such a caring attitude, with such empathy, with such compassion, and with such sensitivity toward everyday people. Totally unpretentious. It’s just wonderful to see a person of these human qualities on this Court. And I’m just so happy that she asked me to be a part of this happy, joyous occasion. This is a time where it’s appropriate to briefly reflect on the role of the Supreme Court and the judiciary. Chief Justice MALLETT administered the oath whereby Justice KELLY swore to uphold the Constitution and the laws of the State of Michigan. We hear a lot of talk at public events, patriotic occasions, by elected officials about the importance of the Constitution and the rule of law.

Sadly, all too often, it is just talk that we give lip service to. And sometimes the constitutional principles, the rule of law become just platitudes. Thank God this is not the case with Justice MARILYN KELLY. Justice KELLY has a deep, abiding, and passionate commitment to the Constitution and to the principles which emanate from the Constitution: equal protection under the law, fundamental fairness, due process for every individual, even the weakest and most powerless and most despised individuals in our citizenry. With Justice KELLY there will be not just lip service and platitudes and empty rhetoric. Justice KELLY, I know, is devoted to upholding the Constitution and the rights and the freedoms and the liberties which make this country different from all others. She’s devoted to making these rights and these constitutional principles vibrant, genuine, real, everyday, living, breathing realities in every case, with every litigant. She did that on the Court of Appeals, and she’ll do that on the Supreme Court. It’s not always easy. It sometimes means making very controversial, unpopular decisions. Decisions which may offend the majority of people. Decisions which may offend the most powerful people and institutions. Decisions which may even offend her closest friends and supporters. But she has a sense of who she is; she has the judicial courage and the judicial integrity to make these decisions even when it is extremely difficult to do so. Even when it means there will be days when she goes home feeling very much alone, like she doesn’t have a friend in the world. But her role calls for that kind of decision making. With Justice KELLY, decisions will never be based on whether someone is well connected, whether someone is politically powerful, whether someone is popular. justice system of Michigan, and we ask God’s blessing on Justice KELLY.

Thank you very much for having made me a part of this program.

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: It is now my pleasure to ask Judge Leo Borrello to come forward please, for further remarks.

 JUDGE BORRELLO: Chief Justice MALLETT, justices of the Supreme Court, new Justice KELLY. It’s my pleasure and honor to have been requested by Justice KELLY to participate in this very wonderful day. And I first met Justice KELLY when I was assigned to the Court of Appeals to sit by assignment. She was the presiding judge, and she was a very lovely and dedicated lady. It didn’t take me too long to become one of her strongest fans and admirers.

Throughout the three days that we sat together, I found her to be very incisive and deliberative in her opinions and judgment. This is the type of person obviously that we all look forward to sitting on the highest court of this state. And well over a million Michiganders also agreed. I think that at this point it doesn’t come as any great news to my fellow judges that in the last twelve or eighteen months the judiciary has been sorely tested in the fields of separation of powers and the independence of the judiciary.

We on the circuit bench look to the Supreme Court, the justices of the Supreme Court, to lead us and to uphold the standards of an independent judiciary. I’m sure with the addition of Justice KELLY that we will have a strong advocate along with the other six justices, I’m sure, on behalf of a strong and powerful judiciary. Justice KELLY, thank you very much for giving me this opportunity, and you know I love you very much.

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: One of the questions that I regularly confronted when I was first selected by my colleagues for this current position was whether I felt particularly burdened by the responsibility. And I answered, no. I answered no because I was really not first. That my political pedigree included John Conyers, Damon Keith, Coleman Young, my father Conrad Mallett. And it also included the next speaker, Judge MYRON WAHLS. Ladies and gentlemen, my way has been made clear by men and women of extraordinary talent and dedication. I stand in awe of their achievements. Those of you who know MYRON WAHLS know him to be an extraordinary human being of great depth, great dimension. At a point more appropriate than this we could spend hours talking about who he is and what he has meant to each of us. What he has been to me is a fine example of how to be a human being, how to be a good judge. I hope to be at some point also as good a speaker as he is. Ladies and gentlemen, MYRON WAHLS.

 JUDGE WAHLS: Mr. Chief Justice and justices of the Supreme Court, I thank you for that gracious introduction. As I sat listening to you I was reminded of a story I heard recently of a recruiter for college who was recruiting a young stellar high school athlete.

They met, and he said, “Well, tell me young man, what can you do?” And the kid said “I can throw a football sixty-five yards. And I can run the one hundred-yard dash in nine the first black Chief Justice of the Court, Ms. Victoria Roberts as the first president of the State Bar; we’re walking in tall cotton this afternoon. I was trying to think if there was anything I’m going to do in the near future that would qualify me, and I determined, I was talking with Judge HOOD, that we both are presiding over our Court for the first time in 1997.

Today is Andrew Jackson Day, the celebration of the defeat of the British at the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Very few of you, I’m sure, know that. The battle was largely meaningless, because when it was fought the War of 1812 was over. It was fought before the news got to either side, and, I suppose, that’s true of the battles in life. I don’t today want to start a war, but I nevertheless feel that there are some points of importance to be made. There are three basic reasons that bring people together, other, of course, than the reasons that bring two people together. In larger groups the three reasons that bring people together are: to take note of something that has already happened, either to celebrate it or deplore it, but in any case, to do so en masse; to take note of something that hasn’t happened, either to try to make it happen or to prevent it from happening; and to salute someone we hold responsible for any of the above. And really that’s the nicest kind of get-together. It is why this occasion today is so special.

Celebrating events can be a joyous time, but it is always even better when we celebrate the people who are responsible for the events. Today, then, is a doubly gratifying occasion because we are saluting someone and some thing. We are saying thanks and well done and congratulations. Our presence here is the beginning of that salute. We are here not because we had to come, but because we wanted to come. And we wanted to come because we wanted to be a part of this occasion. We are here to honor one who has made a success and has been an inspiration in the chosen field of law. Booker T. Washington said that success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome while trying to succeed. Success indeed comes in different forms at different times for different people.

But it is sweetest when it comes with the approval, the applause, the rewards freely given by the people, and that is why we are here today.

It is said, has been said, that persons are judged by the company they keep.

Persons are also judged by the company that keeps them. But the best judgment of all is the judgment of one’s peers. The company that has been assembled here does honor, by its presence and by its deliberate purpose to a person of distinction, a person who has few peers but many admirers, and has much to be admired for. We reveal ourselves in the people we choose to honor and in determining what achievements, positions, or sacrifices to single out for such distinction. And sometimes we honor people not only for what they have brought out in themselves, but also for what they have brought out in others. Today honoring abstract ideas, we are here to express our respect, appreciation, and faith in an outstanding individual.

At the outset it should be made plainly clear that I have nothing in mind, nothing at all to tell about Justice KELLY. My part rather will be confined to the submission of one metaphorical hypothesis about the nature of the lady. And that hypothesis is simply this: that someplace in the soul of MARILYN JEAN KELLY, and not far from the center, is a compass of sensitive vitality, whose magnetic needle can be counted on to point with unexcelled precision to indubitable worth in whatever man or woman this may happen to reside. In addition, that it is largely by this compass that she has subconsciously and consciously steered the course since childhood, serving as she often does from one human environment or social situation to another. Some have tried and some will try again to tell us how it is that this disciplined and fiercely serious, tough and tender, idealizing realist, with no passports from her background, could walk deep into the hearts of the citadel of so many men, women, and children. Eventually someone may be granted the full revelation of this mystery. It is my part to suggest but two determinants, two determinants of this quickness and this deepness, of these affinity encounters. The first being that compass in her soul with its finely discriminating needle of admiration, which would never respond to anything trivial or commonplace, but only to evidence of authentic human excellence. And, second, in conjunction with that compass, I should not fail to emphasize the mastery of language, which enables her to translate messages from her magnetic needle into apt and powerful words to be delivered with exuberance or with gentle subtlety and tact, or sometimes by innuendo, but always exactly at the right time.

In short my friends, during these troubled times, when our most gifted and seductive dramatists, novelists, and poets have been conspiring to convince us that life is meaningless and that man is of no account, hollow, powerless, contemptible, and absurd, dead to this world and to its future, Justice KELLY has been incessantly extolling and exemplifying the exact opposite, and has thereby, in consonant deeds and words proffered for our appraisal, which turns out to be the very antidote and remedy for the duress and desperation that is now at large. From this point of view of the world, the end of life is life.

Life is action. The use of one’s powers and the use of them to their height is our joy and duty. So it is that it’s one’s end that justifies itself.

Let me add a final word. We’re all very near despair. The sheathing that floats us over its waves is compounded of hope, faith, and unexplainable worth, and sure issue of effort and the deep subconscious content which comes from the exercise of our powers.

In the words of a touching Negro spiritual, “Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down, sometimes I’m almost to the ground.” But these thoughts have carried me, and I hope they will carry her through the long years of doubt, self-distress and solitude. They do now, for JUSTICE KELLY: Esteemed members of the judiciary, public officials, and other friends. I thank you for taking part in these proceedings with me today. And my special thanks to Justices MALLETT and BOYLE and to Judges Borrello, Siegel and WAHLS, Victoria Roberts, to Judge Svenson, for your kind and very thoughtful, although sometimes exaggerated, remarks. I’d like to acknowledge also some of those closest to me. And first, my mother, Evelyn Kelly Cogan who, let me say, in robust good health and good spirits, will celebrate her ninetieth birthday within thirty days. Evelyn is a woman of great courage, invincibility, and strong moral principles. Although she never has admitted her age before, I think you’ll agree with me, she doesn’t look ninety. I’d like to ask her to stand while I present these flowers to her as a token of my appreciation and affection.

My husband of twenty-eight years, Richard Stout, you may know, died last May.

Successful in his own right, Richard propelled me forward with an unflagging belief in me.

Always supportive and loving, he was never interested in the possibilities of defeat. My father, Ralph Kelly, has long been deceased, but I remember him and I’m indebted to him for imparting to me his respect for democracy, good government, and the importance of honest public service. My only sibling, Kathryn, is with us today and in good health. And with her are two of her three daughters. We have Deborah and her husband Vincent and their daughter, well let’s see, I’ve seen Michael here and Andrea Canella. And also Alexis and her daughter, Rachel Reid. Would you all stand please?

Present are members of my mother’s and my extended family, and also Betty Case, Richard’s sister, and other members of the Stout family. I thank you all for coming and I appreciate you taking part in this ceremony with me. Finally let me introduce my valuable and talented staff, Attorneys Gordon Berris, Helen Melia, Jean Rosella, and secretaries Carol Lovell and Pat Griebe.

Well, we’ve just completed a long and grueling election campaign. There are those who said that I could not win. They analogized the likelihood of my winning to the likelihood of a bumblebee flying. Aerodynamically they said, it couldn’t be done. But the bumblebee doesn’t know that she can’t fly, so she does. And I didn’t know that I couldn’t win, so I did. But my victory couldn’t have taken flight without the many, many friends and supporters and talented campaign staff who were behind me. Many of them are here today, and I thank them from the bottom of my heart. Because of time limitations I will only recognize two right now. One is Jim Lamb, my excellent campaign manager and the other is Dawn Laguens, my media genius.

So we now have the first women majority Supreme Court in the history of the State of Michigan, and, as you heard, the only one today in the United States of America. The glory of each generation, it’s been said, is to make its own precedents. There may be with some a male and a female view about the value of this precedent. Norman Mailer once does it signify other than the fact that women have come a long way. Clearly the job of judging is not a male or female one. It should make no difference whatsoever in the work product of this Court. Yet I believe the new majority of women will change things. I give you one example. In recent years many legal and educational barriers to female achievement have been destroyed. But one, a psychological barrier, remains. I believe that the fact of this majority will help destroy that barrier. It will encourage younger women to make their abilities and talents available to society through public service. One woman’s success can help another woman’s success. And from that, I maintain, everyone will prosper.

“There are those who will say,” wrote Archibald MacLeash, “that the liberation of humanity, the freedom of men and mind is nothing but a dream. It is a dream. They are right. It’s the American dream.” I believe in that dream. As I assume the position of justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, I do it with great humility, mindful of my limitations, conscious that I put on my robe one sleeve at a time. I learn as we all do. My philosophy of life, like yours, is drawn from my life experiences, from my education, both formal and informal. As I say this, in the back of my mind ruminate the words of Golda Maier who said, “Don’t be humble, you’re not that great.” I agree with retiring Justice CHARLES LEVIN, when he wrote that the Supreme Court must think of itself as a system managing justice, as well as a Court deciding individual cases. The Court, he said, cannot continue to devote the overwhelming majority of its time to individual cases as a primary means of administering the system of justice, when the method increasingly causes us to neglect more of the system than we treat. Do you remember that, Justice LEVIN? I salute you sir, on your retirement from the bench, and I respect and admire you for your many years of inspired service. I do not and I could not replace Justice LEVIN on the bench. I can merely aspire to grow to his stature.

I agree also with Justice BRICKLEY, that each new justice changes the chemistry of the Court, brings a new chemistry to the Court. I believe in my ability to influence that chemistry favorably. And if I did not, of course, I would have had no business seeking this position. By what we do, we shape society. Or more poetically put, by what we do, we create the world, we create the future.

I offer now an Irish sentiment to my colleagues, my esteemed and honorable colleagues on the Supreme Court, and that is, May the roof above us never fall in and may we justices gathered below never fall out. I look forward with great eagerness to the opportunity to serve that the people of Michigan have given me here today, and I approach my tenure on the Supreme Court with the sentiment expressed by a judge who influenced me greatly, who inspired me, who tempered justice with mercy during his years on the Court of Appeals before his death, JOHN SHEPHERD. And I repeat his prayer that I always Testament, echoed by Thomas Payne in the age of reason, “I will strive to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with my God.” Thank you.

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: Now, ladies and gentlemen. I have in front of me four pages of names, all of whom bear important titles. Justice CAVANAGH and I held a minicaucus, and he granted me the authority to read all the names. But I’m going to make an executive decision, my first as the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, to pick out four or five. Justice KELLY in fact did recognize the retiring Justice CHARLES LEVIN.

Ladies and gentlemen, this is a man of mythic proportions on my Court. I love him like the dear friend that he is. All of us revere him very much. Charles, stand one more time, would you please?

When I first came to Lansing with my bar card in hand, rushing over to be the legal advisor to James Blanchard, someone suggested that I stop by and see Frank Kelley. And Frank said, there are no lawyers who represent the Governor that do not work for me. So I became then a member of Frank’s special Attorney General staff, and he expected adherence to the oath that I took, which was to do exactly what I was told. So far, I’ve lived up to that demand. Ladies and gentlemen, the Attorney General of the State of Michigan, Frank Kelley. And finally, I want to recognize the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, MAURA CORRIGAN. And the just-past immediate Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, MARTIN DOCTOROFF. I would ask then all of the members of our extended court family, and Marilyn’s extended court family, no matter what level of court, no matter what participation in the process. Please stand.

We thank you all deeply for coming here and gracing this very special session of the Michigan Supreme Court. Reverend Russell could you come now, sir, and bless this proceeding so that we might depart.

 REVEREND RUSSELL: To Chief Justice CONRAD MALLETT and to all of the justices of the Supreme Court and to my sister, Justice KELLY, we are honored to be here today and we are grateful for the opportunity. I would preach, but it would take too much time. But if I was privileged to preach I would use this theme: Help Wanted. And I would use the word God. God does need help in this world today to lift fallen men. He does need help to bring back the captive who have gone astray. He does need help to give sight to the blind and hope to the hopeless. But Judge KELLY has answered the call. The State of Michigan sent out a memo, had it marked and said, Help Wanted on the Supreme Court bench. And here she is. So she’s going to help God. May we stand, and I’m going to pray.

Holy Spirit of God, we need you both morning, noon, and night in this world of ours, to help change it from a world of wretchedness to a world of gladness and a world of peace. We pray, our Father, that Thy word has come with Thy peace and Thy presence difficult. And when she calls upon You, give to her a sense of direction. Bless all of those who have been elevated, and Chief Justice CONRAD MALLETT as he leads on. May he do that which is pleasing in Your sight. It will not be pleasing in the sight of the State of Michigan, but in Yours, because he will have done what he felt was right. And grant unto him who is able to keep us from falling and to present us faultlessly before the excellency of his majesty with great joy and unto the only wise God may there be glory in the church through Christ Jesus, world without end. Let us all say, Amen.

CHIEF JUSTICE MALLETT: Ladies and gentlemen, that ends this special session of the Court.