2022 : First African American Appointed to Michigan Supreme Court

November 22, 2022 all-day

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer will appoint state Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden to the Michigan Supreme Court, she announced Tuesday.

Bolden will be the first Black woman to serve as a Michigan Supreme Court justice.

“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 on Tuesday. “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.”

Bolden, 34, replaces retiring former Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, who announced in September she would retire from the court at the end of the current Michigan Supreme Court term. Bolden will join the court at the start of next year.

Before being elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2018, Bolden was a judicial clerk for Judge John A. Murphy in Wayne County and later practiced civil litigation at Lewis & Munday, per her campaign website.

In a September interview with the Free Press, Bolden said one the most formative moments in her path toward choosing a career in the legal world came when she was an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University. Her great-grandmother told her that Bolden’s great-grandfather was lynched in Tennessee in the 1930s.

Source: Arpan Lobo, “Whitmer to name Kyra Harris Bolden to fill Michigan Supreme Court vacancy“, Detroit Free Press, November 22, 2022.