Celebrating Kyra Harris Bolden: Michigan’s First Black Woman Supreme Court Justice

by Gee NY

Michigan celebrates a trailblazer to its highest court, Justice Kyra Harris Bolden, who assumed her role on January 1, 2023, as the state’s first Black woman Supreme Court Justice.

Appointed by Governor Whitmer, Justice Bolden’s ascent to this esteemed position marks a historic milestone in Michigan’s legal history.

A product of Southfield Public Schools, Justice Bolden’s commitment to her home state is evident throughout her academic and professional journey.

She earned her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and went on to obtain her Juris Doctor from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law.

Her dedication to the law and her community has been a consistent theme throughout her career.

Before her appointment to the Michigan Supreme Court, Justice Bolden distinguished herself as a state representative in the Michigan House of Representatives.

Serving on the Judiciary Committee, she championed crucial reforms in criminal justice and advocated for bipartisan legislation aimed at supporting survivors of sexual violence. Her legislative accomplishments include landmark reforms such as the “Medically Frail” Prison Reform package and revisions to the Wrongful Imprisonment Compensation Act.

Before her legislative tenure, Justice Bolden practiced law both as a criminal defense attorney and as a civil litigation attorney with Lewis & Munday, P.C. Her experience also includes serving as a Judicial Law Clerk in Wayne County’s Third Circuit Court, where she honed her legal expertise under the guidance of Judge John A. Murphy.

Beyond her legal career, Justice Bolden remains deeply engaged in her community and is an active member of numerous legal and civic organizations.

She contributes her time and leadership to the Oakland County Bar Association, Wolverine Bar Association, Straker Bar Association, Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, National Congress of Black Women-Oakland County, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.

Throughout her career, Justice Bolden has been recognized for her outstanding contributions and leadership. She has received prestigious awards such as the Detroit Association of Women’s Clubs, Inc. “Young Women Lifting As We Climb Image Award,” the African American Leadership Awards “Emerging Leader Award,” and the Michigan Chronicle “40 Under 40 Award.”

Her commitment to economic development and legislative excellence was further acknowledged with the Legislative Economic Development Champion Award and the Michigan Credit Union League “Legislator of the Year Award.”

Justice Kyra Harris Bolden’s appointment to the Michigan Supreme Court signifies not only a personal achievement but also a significant step forward in promoting diversity and representation within the state’s judiciary. Her leadership and dedication to justice continue to inspire and pave the way for future generations of legal professionals.

For Michigan, Justice Bolden’s presence on the Supreme Court brings hope and progress, and reflects the state’s commitment to equality and fairness under the law.

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