The Michigan Supreme Court has agreed to bypass the Michigan Court of Appeals and hear Attorney General Bill Schuette’s quo warranto action, in which Schuette claims Lansing 54-A District Court Judge Hugh Clarke Jr. is illegally occupying his judicial office.
The MSC’s order states that it will assume jurisdiction over the case. The matter has been placed on the Court’s May 2011 session calendar.
Clarke was appointed to the court in December to fill a vacancy created when District Court Judge Amy Krause was appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals.
Schuette says it was technically proper for Clarke to fill the last days of Krause’s unexpired district-court term. But, Schuette said last Jan. 7, “any attempt to remain in office past noon on January 1, 2011 is illegal because he cannot fulfill the new term Krause had been elected to on November 2, 2010, but had not started before she left the district court.”
Clarke is being represented by former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Brennan and attorney Lawrence Nolan.