Decision 2020: Voters to decide on Michigan Supreme Court Justices

Published: Oct. 15, 2020 at 1:24 PM EDT
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LANSING, Mich. (WILX) - There are two spots on the Michigan Supreme Court on this November’s ballot. Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack’s term is up and Justice Stephen J. Markman is retiring.

Chief Justice McCormack is running for re-election. There are also six other candidates: Susan Hubbard, Mary Kelly, Kerry Lee Morgan, Katherine Mary Nepton, Brock Swartzle and Elizabeth Welch.

Chief Justice McCormack was a professor and associate dean at the University of Michigan Law School before being elected to the Supreme Court in 2012. She’s also on the Washtenaw County Families Against Narcotics board.

On her re-election website, Chief Justice McCormack writes that she is “committed to making sure the Michigan Supreme Court is independent from political pressure.”

Hubbard was a member of the Dearborn City Council and the Wayne County Commission. She was elected to the Wayne County Circuit Court in 2010.

As part of a questionnaire on the Green Party of Michigan’s website, Hubbard wrote, “As a Michigan Supreme Court Justice, I will continue to place the public’s best interest at the forefront.”

Kelly has spent over 30 years as a prosecutor in St. Clair County. According to her campaign website, she helped form and became lead attorney for the Criminal Sexual Conduct Unit. She has also worked with agencies to deter substance abuse.

Morgan is an attorney in Wyandotte. His biography indicates that he has experience with labor law and parental rights.

Nepton says she is the first Indigenous person to be on the ballot as a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court. She is an attorney in Lansing.

Swartzle is a judge on the Michigan Court of Appeals. He’s also an adjunct professor for MSU’s College of Law. Swartzle was previously Chief of Staff for the Speaker of the Michigan House of Representatives and General Counsel for the House.

He writes on his election website that he promises to “be a judge who is blind to the parties before the bench, one who favors not the plaintiff, not the defendant, not the prosecutor, not the criminal defendant, not the government, not the corporation, not the individual, but a judge who focuses solely on the facts and the law.”

Welch is an attorney who previously served as an East Grand Rapids School Board Trustee. In a video on her website, Welch says she “felt compelled to run for office because of the important decisions the court makes that impacts our lives.”

While the positions are nonpartisan, McCormack and Welch were nominated at the Democratic convention, Kelly and Swartzle were nominated at the Republican convention and Morgan and Nepton were nominated at the Libertarian convention.

Justices' terms last eight years. Voters will select two names on the ballot.

Click here to request an absentee ballot or find your polling location.

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