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Attorney General Emeritus, State of Michigan
Through nearly four decades of illustrious service as Attorney General of Michigan, you have established yourself as an outstanding leader in the legal profession, and as a selfless civil servant to the people of Michigan and the United States. Your innovation and abiding concern for the equitable administration of justice has earned you widespread recognition, and a place in Michigan history as one of its greatest attorneys general. Your accomplishments as Attorney General of Michigan are a tribute to your exceptional commitment to the betterment of people everywhere. In your unprecedented 37 years in office, you led efforts to control crime and drug abuse, developed an aggressive consumer protection program, fought the polluters of Michigan's air and water, and worked to further civil rights and civil liberties for all citizens. You were also the leading public official in the nation for the safe disposal of nuclear waste. Your ethical commitments and your wisdom have been evident in everything you do. You have received considerable recognition for "calling them as you see them" without fear or favor. You were one of Michigan's fist public officials to urge tighter control over lobbyists. In a series of important opinions, you also helped pave the way for Michigan's open meeting and freedom of information acts. Your tremendous passion for justice had been a positive influence on countless men and women. Throughout your long public career, you have been a mentor to attorneys who have gone on to become distinguished trial lawyers, judges, legislators and governors. You have been legal counsel for five Michigan governors and, as a leader among the attorneys general of the United States, have interacted with seven presidents of the United States. Your outstanding achievements and selfless service on behalf of citizens everywhere have earned you numerous awards and accolades. The State Bar of Michigan and the National Association of Attorneys General have honored you by creating annual distinguished service awards in your name. In recognition of your long-standing professional integrity and exceptional contributions to the citizens of Michigan and the United States, the University of Detroit Mercy is pleased to present you with the Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree. Commencement, University of Detroit Mercy, School of Law, May 16, 1999.