Dillard brings fairness to Michigan Attorney General race
Detroit lawyer pledges a straightforward commitment to effective justice
DETROIT — Attorney Godfrey Dillard announced his intention to seek the Democratic nomination for Michigan Attorney General, April 24.
Dillard says the state’s current AG, Bill Schuette, rubber-stamps a right-wing Republican agenda in contravention of his obligation to support the Michigan Constitution, which mandates non-partisanship.
“I am determined to turn Michigan courtrooms into a compassionate search for truth, fairness and justice,” Dillard said.
Currently the state suffers on issues of consumer protection, children, marriage rights, health care, pension rights, pollution of the Great Lakes, incarceration of children and the emergency manager laws, under a Republican administration inconsistent with truth, fairness, compassion and justice, he added.
Dillard, 65, has promised to campaign on a platform of competency, commitment to the universal core values of Michiganders and a proven legacy of courage.
“He’s super qualified for the position,” said former Southfield City Councilman John Reeves. “And he has enthusiasm and passion and a history of legal leadership.”
A Detroit native, Dillard was raised by his mother and grandmother along with four other siblings after his father died at age 36. His deceased father had served in World War II as one of the original members of the historic 99th Fighter Squadron, Tuskegee Airmen.
Attending Visitation High School, a Catholic school located in the center of Detroit, Dillard was class president and student council president and earned all-state honors in football and basketball. Winning a full scholarship to Vanderbilt University in Nashville, he participated in the civil rights revolution of the 1960s as one of the first Black basketball players in the Southeastern Conference of the NCAA.
Upon graduation with a degree in philosophy, Dillard chose the University of Michigan Law School. Upon admission to the State Bar of Michigan, Dillard entered private practice, specializing in criminal and civil rights law. After several years of law practice and international travels, he decided on a career change. He graduated from the George Washington School of International Affairs in Washington, DC, and was appointed a diplomat at the U.S. State Department by President Jimmy Carter. He served as deputy counsel general for the nation of Zaire, Africa (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) under Presidents Carter and Reagan. Family obligations to aid his aging mother and grandmother caused him to resign from the U.S. Foreign Service and return to Detroit.
He has participated in some of the most challenging cases of his generation. Most noteworthy was his work on the University of Michigan affirmative action cases.
Attorney Dillard is currently an adjunct professor at Wayne State Law School, and a member of the State Bars of Michigan and Georgia. He is admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. International Court of Trade and is a former member of the Board of Directors of the U.S. African Development Foundation. He is former chairperson of the International Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan and the recipient of numerous awards, including Michigan Lawyer of the Year and the Champion of Justice Award from the State Bar of Michigan. Dillard is married and has two adult children.