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Interview with Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas G. Kavanagh
Kavanagh, Thomas G.

Michigan State University

Michigan Supreme Court

Kavanagh, Thomas G.


Item Number


text, sound


Interview conducted by Roger F. Lane for the Michigan Supreme Court Historical Society. Justice Kavanagh recalls his childhood and education; his involvements in the recounts of 1950 and 1952; running for the Supreme Court in 1955; and running the Court of Appeals in 1964. He describes being new to the Supreme Court; political and personal issues on the court; especially Justice Gene Black. He also discusses the apportionment issue of the 1970’s; and his involvement with the Shavers case. He discusses the addition of Justices Coleman, Levin, Fitzgerald and Thomas M. Kavanagh. He recalls the events of 1975; including the death of Thomas M. Kavanagh, the investigation of John Swainson, and the Dearborn Firefighter case concerning Act 312. He then recalls the events of 1976; The appointment of Justice Ryan, collegiality and stability of the court, T. John Lesinski, and his duties as Chief Justice. He then discusses the Supreme Court involvement with the State Bar; the apportionment decision of 1982; the resignation of Justice Coleman; the death of Justice Blair Moody; and the challenge to Justice Riley’s appointment. He also discusses his speech “Pot, pornography, and prostitution;” and reflects on some mistake he may have made in office.

Interview with Michigan Supreme Court Justice Thomas G. Kavanagh

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