Gov. Gretchen Whitmer makes historic pick for Michigan Supreme Court

Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has chosen state Rep. Kyra Harris Bolden to fill a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman to serve on the state’s high court.

Whitmer, a Democrat, is announcing the selection on Tuesday. Bolden will succeed Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, who revealed in September her plans to leave the court to become CEO of the New York-based American Arbitration Association-International Centre for Dispute Resolution.

McCormack is a Democratic nominee, and Democrats maintained a 4-3 majority on the court in this month’s election.

Whitmer described Bolden, a 34-year-old lawmaker from Southfield, as “passionate about the law.” Bolden will be the youngest member of the Michigan Supreme Court and could hold a seat for more than three decades as justices can seek reelection until they reach the age of 70.

“She will bring a unique perspective to our high court as a Black woman — and as a new, working mom — that has too long been left out,” Whitmer said. “Kyra is committed to fighting for justice for generations, and I know she will serve Michigan admirably, building a brighter future for her newborn daughter and all our kids.”

Bolden was a Democratic nominee for two seats on the Michigan Supreme Court in the Nov. 8 election. But she finished narrowly behind Republican-nominated incumbent Justice Brian Zahra for the second position.

Bolden got 22% of the vote. Zahra won 24%. Democrat-nominated incumbent Justice Richard Bernstein finished in first place with 34%.

For much of the campaign, Bolden ran for office while pregnant, giving birth in August.

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