By Roberta Gubbins
The auditorium at the Cooley Auditorium on the 6th Floor of the Temple Building in downtown Lansing was filled with family, friends, lawyers, judges, public officials, and supporters of Clinton Canady, III. They came to witness his investiture into the 30th Circuit Court and the State of Michigan Court of Claims, an event changing Canady's life forever.
"You will now be 'the Honorable, or Your Honor.' You will now be a judge," said Lawrence P. Nolan, the Master of Ceremonies, commenting on the changes to Canady's life. "You have voluntarily assumed this position. You will be given a lot of respect but you will also be given a lot of criticism. You will be asked to make decisions that may be right but not always popular."
President Don LeDuc, Thomas M. Cooley Law School, welcomed the group. "No occasion is at once more joyous or more solemn than the investiture of a judge. The joy is that of the person taking the oath of office, which marks a major achievement. The solemnity is the transition of power to the new judge, reaffirming our system of justice."
The Honorable Robert Holmes Bell, Judge, Federal District Court, Western District of Michigan who opened the court for the ceremony, asked Canady's friends to support and encourage him as he embarked on his new way of life.
Sharon Lawrence-Taylor sang the National Anthem and the Lord's Prayer. Reverend Melvin T. Jones gave the Invocation. Hon. William E. Collette, Chief Judge, 30th Judicial Circuit Court, introduced the judges present.
Anthony Jenkins, President, State Bar of Michigan, spoke on behalf of the State Bar congratulating Canady, commenting he knew him to be a man "who over the years has amply demonstrated his ability to be a member of the judiciary and to take on those responsibilities. He has the character and integrity that is beyond reproach. He is the first person of color to serve on the 30th Circuit Court. That is cause to celebrate."
Michael B. Farrell, attorney and life-long friend of Canady, said, "We are here to honor and be with Clint on this day. The qualities of Clint Canady that stand out to me are that he is a straight shooter and has a good sense of humor. Both will be needed."
William Copeland, attorney and friend of Canady, was the last to speak. Copeland, who has known Canady for forty years, commented that the voters of Ingham County did a double service in electing Canady. "They have awarded an individual who deserves the accolades he receives today and who will be the person we want our judges to be."
Judge Canady, the 36th Judge of the Ingham County Court, was sworn in by the Hon. Michael F. Cavanagh, Justice, Michigan Supreme Court. Tara Canady Doss, Attorney and Canady's daughter, held the bible on which her father placed his hand as he took the oath, saying,
"I, Clinton Canady, the third, do solemnly swear that I will support the Constitution of the United States and the Constitution of the State of Michigan, and I will faithfully perform the duties and responsibilities of the office of Judge of the 30th Judicial Circuit Court to the best of my ability, so help me God."
With those words, Clinton Canady lawyer became the Hon Clinton Canady, III, Judge, 30th Circuit Court. Tara Canady Doss, who came from Los Angeles, California where she practices law, presented her father with his robe. Shauna Dunnings, attorney, presented Judge Canady with his gavel, saying "It is an honor to be part of this ceremony. I am confidant the integrity of the judiciary will be preserved with your presence on the bench."
Judge Canady came to the podium to a standing ovation. He thanked all his supporters who made his election possible and expressed their confidence in him. He also thanked his family for their support. Realizing that he could have missed some people, he said, "let me say that if you are here, I recognize it and appreciate it."
The Hon Cynthia Stephens, Judge, Michigan Court of Appeals gave the benediction and the Hon Laura Baird, Judge 30th Judicial Circuit Court closed the court. A reception followed.
Published: Thu, Jan 20, 2011