Michigan Appoints First Black Woman to Serve on Supreme Court

by Xara Aziz

The state of Michigan has appointed its first Black woman to serve as one of the state’s Supreme Court justices.  

Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden, 34, will replace former Chief Justice Bridget McCormack who resigned late last year. She was officially sworn in earlier this month.

“For years, a Black woman’s experiences and perspective have been absent from our state’s highest court,” she said at an event in Lansing. “To the countless Black women upon whose shoulders I stand, who, like my own mother and grandmother, instill in our community the core responsibilities of honesty, empathy and justice, I promise that I will honor our experience from this new vantage point.”

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer made the announcement of Bolden’s appointment at the Michigan Hall of Justice, where the state’s Supreme Court is located. Bolden will work alongside Chief Justice Elizabeth Clement, who was also recently appointed to the state’s highest court.

“Kyra brings a perspective and an aptitude, a temperament and an unwavering commitment to the law to the bench. And I think that she will make us all very proud here in Michigan,” Whitmer said at the event.

Democrats nominated Bolden to run for one of the two open seats on the court during November’s midterm elections, but she only won a third of the votes. She lost to incumbent Justice Richard Bernstein and Justice Brian Zahra, who represents the Republican party.

“Bolden will have to run for reelection in the November 2024 election to complete the remainder of McCormack’s term and then again in the 2028 general election if she wants to serve another full, eight-year term after that, per a court spokesperson,” according to the Detroit Free Press.

Bolden served as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives for the 35th district from 2019 up until her recent appointment in 2023 and served as a civil litigation attorney prior to running for office.

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