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The Race for the State’s Highest Court

Oct 21, 2022

During the 2022 election cycle, two positions are up for election on the Michigan Supreme Court. Both of the justices currently serving in those slots are running for reelection to the state’s highest court. In Michigan, there are seven justices, who each serve eight-year terms. The terms are staggered to end every two years. Candidates are nominated through party conventions to be placed on the general election ballot. Currently, justices nominated by the Democratic party have a 4 -3 majority over those nominated by the Republican Party. For this cycle, the Democratic Party nominated Justice Bernstein and Representative Bolden, the Republican Party nominated Justice Zahra and Paul Hudson, and the Libertarian Party nominated Kerry Lee Morgan.

    • Justice Richard Bernstein (Incumbent) – He was elected to the court in 2014. Prior to being elected, he headed the public service division for The Sam Bernstein Law Firm. He was the first statewide blind justice to be elected to the Michigan Supreme Court.
    • Representative Kyra Harris Bolden – She is serving her second term in the Michigan House of Representatives, prior to that she was a criminal defense attorney and civil litigation attorney. She was a judicial law clerk in Wayne County’s Third Circuit Court.
    • Paul Hudson –Appellate attorney. Former law clerk in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit.
    • Kerry Lee Morgan – Attorney.
    • Justice Brian Zahra (Incumbent) – He was appointed by Governor Rick Snyder in 2011 to the Michigan Supreme Court, elected to a partial term in 2012, and elected to a full term in 2014. Prior to serving on the Supreme Court, he was a Wayne County Circuit Court Judge and Michigan Court of Appeals Judge. Prior to serving on the bench, he was a private practice attorney and law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan.

Each year, the Michigan Supreme Court receives over 2,000 applications for leave to appeal. The court’s term begins on August 1 and runs through July 31 of the following year. They hear oral arguments beginning in October each year at the Hall of Justice in Lansing.

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