Kyra Harris Bolden Appointed First Black Woman on Michigan Supreme Court

It was a history making appointment. As the state’s Chief Supreme Court Justice steps down, Governor Gretchen Whitmer replaces her with history.

Kyra Harris Bolden is the governor’s pick for the next Michigan Supreme Court Justice. The current state representative will be the first Black woman to sit on the state’s highest bench.Khb Solo Original

“In just a few generations, my family has gone from lynching to law school,” said Harris Bolden. “From injustice to a ‘capital J’ Justice.”

The current Chief Justice, Bridget McCormack, is stepping down and Whitmer jumped at the opportunity to name Harris Bolden. 

“It’s about damn time, and so I’m really proud to make this appointment,” said Whitmer.

Harris Bolden is currently a state representative and ran for one of the two open Supreme Court seats in November and lost. But Whitmer gave the 34-year-old another shot, saying her perspective is needed for the role.

“I think lived experience is a big important part of that assessment as well, and showing that we have a bench that reflects the population of the state of Michigan,” said Whitmer.

Harris Bolden will be sworn in early next year and serve for at least two years before having to run again.

“I swear to you this oath, this promise, this commitment,” said Harris Bolden, “I swear that I will faithfully serve our state, and you, its people. I promise that I will judge each case, fairly and impartially without fear or favor.”

Harris Bolden will not be the youngest Justice ever, but close. After serving four years in Lansing, she has only actively practiced law for four years. Whitmer says the appointment is about more than experience.

“Kyra brings a perspective and an aptitude, a temperament and a unwavering commitment to the law, to the bench,” said Whitmer, “I think she’s going to make us all very proud in Michigan.”

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