Anti-Gay Republican Andrew Shirvell Wins Unemployment Benefits

ShirvellMAndrew Shirvell was fired from his job at Michigan's Attorney General's office in 2010 after harassing gay University of Michigan student body president Chris Armstrong and his alleged "homosexual agenda".

Shirvell has since been ordered to pay Armstrong $4.5 million for defamation and emotional distress.

It's unlikely Shirvell has that amount of money, but he'll soon be receiving unemployment benefits that could help pay his tab:

Shirvell's original request for unemployment benefits was denied because he was dismissed for misconduct.

But Ingham County Judge Paula Manderfield last month
ordered Shirvell to get unemployment benefits, claiming he "was fired
for constitutionally protected speech" rather than misconduct.


  1. Lymis says

    That’s ludicrous.

    Expressing the opinion might or might not have been constitutionally protected – using the power of his office to stalk and harass someone else – at the time a college student if I recall – for HIS constitutionally protected speech is most definitely misconduct.

  2. joe says

    I’m not surprised. Having been involved with several unemployment benefit denial hearings, the state almost always just makes up a reason to overturn the denial and give the person unemployment money…

  3. DenguyFL says

    Garnishment of these benefits will surely be the next front in this never-ending legal battle.You would think Shirvell would cut his losses and move on instead of putting his name in the news all the time. No one save the Liberty Council or ADF will be willining up to hire a loose cannon whose poor judgmennt makes him ripe for lawsuits.

  4. mikenola says

    I wonder if under Michigan law, his victim can appeal that unemployment decision?

    She based it on a right of free speech, which is not only a farce in this case, but might just open the case to intervenors…

  5. jamal49 says

    Shirvell’s former employer can file an appeal on granting him unemployment. First, the Judge is completely wrong to rule in his favor based on free-speech grounds. He was fired for misconduct and her ruling is a value judgment not based on Michigan unemployment benefit laws or the actual facts. The Judge is also a right-wing, evangelical. Second, the victim can rightfully claim Shirvell’s benefits outright since whatever assets or money Shirvell earns must go to pay the settlement amount. Either way, Shirvell loses. Again.

  6. RandySf says

    I do hope that they appeal, since he was proven in a court of law by a real judge to have not been using constitutionally protected speech.

    What a horrid woman.

  7. Caliban says

    Shirvell was fired for using state computers during work hours to update his anti-Chris Armstrong blog, not over what he said. At first the Attorney General, a conservative, supported Shirvell, who had worked for his election campaign. Eventually Shirvell’s actions, an assistant state AG harassing and stalking a college student and his refusal to admit his actions were disturbing and back down, brought enough negative attention that they went looking for cause to fire him, and they found it.

    Isn’t this what the fundies love to call “activist judges”?

  8. Icebloo says

    The vile Republicans bend the rules for themselves again. I thought the Republicans didn’t believe in financial assistance from the government ? They are such shi%head liars. The biggest hypocrites in the world.

  9. Bernie says

    Even though I do not like this man, I do feel a little sorry for him as he is severely mentally ill. And, it seems that his lawyer found a judge who would buy into his crazy thinking. If you want to talk about activist judges, it seems this judge fits that criteria.

  10. andrew says

    Since Shirvell has been ordered by a court to pay Armstrong $4.5 million for defamation and emotional distress, can’t Armstrong go to court and have Shirvell’s unemployment wages garnished?

  11. Diogenes Arktos says

    @Caliban: “Isn’t this what the fundies love to call ‘activist judges’?”
    Of course they should. But they won’t because they agree with the decision.

  12. wds says

    and I’m sure he’ll be “coming to a faux news channel near you” soon …. :( These folks never seem to go away, they just keep showing up on the “tube” …