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    Marianne Battani, retired federal judge, dies after illness


    U.S. District Judge Marianne O. Battani, whose 40-year legal career covered Detroit’s era of corruption, price-fixing in the auto industry, a Nazi war criminal, and an attack on U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, has died of cancer.

    She was 77.

    Battani died at her Oakland County home on Thursday surrounded by friends and family. Her passing comes nine months after the Detroit native stepped down from her role as a federal judge.

    “It has been my great joy to work with you and to create so many friendships,” Battani, said in a farewell letter to her colleagues before going on inactive status on Dec. 31.

    Six months earlier, Battani had announced that she was stepping back from her judge duties to fight cancer.  At the time, she oversaw one of the largest automotive price-fixing civil cases in U.S. history. 

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