Michigan Supreme Court Matters

November 2, 2022

MI State Supreme Court:
What You Need to Know
for Election 2022

What does the Michigan State Supreme Court do?

  • The Michigan State Supreme Court is the highest court in Michigan. The role of the Supreme Court is to uphold and interpret the Michigan State Constitution.
  • The Supreme Court hears appeals from the state’s lower courts: district, circuit, and appellate level cases can be appealed to the Supreme Court for issues related to state law.
  • The State Supreme Court informs lower courts how to interpret and enforce state laws.
  • The State Supreme Court sets administrative and reporting guidance for lower courts.

How does the State Supreme Court affect me?

  • Many of the laws that affect your daily life- penalties for speeding while driving, landlord and tenant law, and tax limits, etc.- are upheld by the Supreme Court.
  • The Supreme Court can also overturn laws that it finds unconstitutional or unjust. For example, the State Supreme Court recently overturned a Republican-sponsored state law that made it more difficult for citizen-led statewide referendums to make it to the ballot. In other words, the Supreme Court decision made it easier for citizens to get issues on the ballot.
  • Finally, even though most people are more likely to attend proceedings at a district or circuit court, the state Supreme Court mandates how those courts are to conduct business every day and how they are supposed to decide cases.

Who is on the State Supreme Court?

  • The Michigan State Supreme Court has 7 Justices.
  • Justices serve 8-year terms. They are nominated by political parties for the statewide ballot.
  • The current Chief Justice is Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormick. She recently announced her retirement, effective between November 22- December 31. Governor Whitmer will appoint her replacement to serve the remaining 6 years of the Chief Justice’s term.
  • All other justices are referred to as “Associate Justice” or “Justice.”

Who is competing for a seat on the Supreme Court in November 2022?

  • Justice Richard Bernstein was nominated by the Democratic Party. He currently sits on the state Supreme Court.
  • Justice Brian K. Zahra was nominated by Republican Party. He currently sits on the state Supreme Court.
  • Kyra Bolden Harris was nominated by the Democratic Party. She currently serves as Michigan State Representative.
  • Paul Hudson was nominated by Republican Party. He is an appellate attorney at Miller Canfield Law Firm.
  • Kerry Lee Morgan was nominated by the Libertarian Party. He is currently Of Counsel to Pentiuk, Couvreur & Kobiljak, P.C.

There are 2 Michigan Supreme Court
Seats on the Ballot!