Supreme Court Rejects Appeal of Antigay Harassing State Attorney

Former Michigan assistant attorney general Andrew Shirvell

The U.S. Supreme Court Monday declined a former Michigan lawman's request to reconsider a multimillion dollar judgment against him for targeting a gay student body president at the former assistant attorney general's alma mater, reports the Associated Press

The request came from Andrew Shirvell, a former Michigan assistant attorney general, who lost his job in 2010 after tormenting Chris Armstrong, the first openly gay student body president at the University of Michigan, throughout the student's tenure. Shrivell's alleged harassment was so severe that it included allegations he was stalking Armstrong, resulting in Shirvell's temporary banning from the university campus. 

During his time as an assistant attorney general, Shrivell operated a blog called Chris Armstrong Watch, where he claimed Armstrong pushed a "radical homosexual agenda," and called him a Nazi and a representative of Satan. All of that prompted Armstrong to file a defamation suit in 2011 — the year he graduated. 

The first federal court to hear the defamation suit ruled in favor of Armstrong, ordering Shirvell to pay $4.5 million in damages. On appeal, a federal court reduced that amount by $1million but simultaneously refused Shirvell's request to rehear the case, notes the AP. 

Throughout litigation, Shirvell maintained that Armstrong could not be defamed, since his tenure as student body president qualified him as a public figure. Prior to the first hearing in the defamation suit, Shirvell was even offered a deal — apologize and all the charges would be dropped. But Shirvell refused and the case went forward, ultimately seeing the nation's high court affirm the finding against Shirvell by declining Monday to hear his case. 

Tags: Crime, Michigan

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