Saturday, March 26, 2011

Hon. M. Blane Michael Passes

M. Blane Michael, a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, has passed away. From the Washington Post:
Michael served as special counsel during [now-senator] Rockefeller’s first term as governor from 1977 to 1980.

Rockefeller, D-W.Va., called Michael “my dearest friend and confidant.”

“Unvarnished in his honesty, uncanny in his humor and unequaled in his humility, Blane was a formidable presence of the federal bench, with a moral and intellectual compass set hard for justice,” Rockefeller said in a statement. “He was a brilliant judge who never took for granted the power and the responsibility of deciding the cases that impacted people’s lives or righted serious wrongs.”

Michael was born in Charleston, S.C., but grew up in Grant County, W.Va. He graduated from West Virginia University in 1965 and received his law degree from New York University School of Law three years later.

Michael worked at a private practice in New York City, then served as an assistant U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York in 1971 and 1972. After that, he returned to West Virginia, where he worked as an attorney until going to work for Rockefeller.

“I will be forever fortunate to call him my dearest friend and confidant — the kind you just trust to his very core and whose deep, easy companionship abides with you for a lifetime,” Rockefeller said.

After returning to private practice, Michael served as campaign manager for the late U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd. Michael was nominated by President Bill Clinton and confirmed to the 4th Circuit in Richmond on Oct. 1, 1993.

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