Gov. Gretchen Whitmer makes historic pick for Michigan Supreme Court

Lansing — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer has selected 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, will announce the selection 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 Center for Dispute Resolution.

McCormack is a Democratic candidate, and Democrats held 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 because justices can seek reelection until they reach age 70.

“She will bring a unique perspective to our high court as a Black woman — and as a new working mother — 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 of our children.”

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State Rep. Kyra Bolden, D-Southfield, waves to the crowd after speaking during the Michigan Democratic Party's election night party at MotorCity Casino in Detroit.  Bolden lost a campaign for a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court.  Gov. Gretchen Whitmer plans to appoint Bolden to a vacancy on the high court on Tuesday.

Bolden was a Democratic candidate for two seats on the Michigan Supreme Court in the Nov. 8 election. But he finished just behind Republican nominee Judge Brian Zahra for the second position.

Bolden received 22% of the vote. Zahra won 24%. Democratic nominee 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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