Kyra Harris Bolden First Black Woman Nominated to Michigan Supreme Court

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Kyra Harris Bolden headshot
Courtesy of Kyra Harris Bolden

Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced Tuesday the nomination of Michigan State Representative Kyra Harris Bolden to the Michigan Supreme Court, making her the first Black woman to serve on the state’s top court.

“Today, I am honored to announce that I will be appointing Kyra Harris Bolden to the Michigan Supreme Court,” Whitmer says. “A state representative from Southfield, former law clerk, and litigator, Kyra is passionate about the law and will be the first Black woman ever to serve on the Michigan Supreme Court.

“She will bring a unique perspective to our high court as a Black woman — and as a new, working mom — that has too long been left out. 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 our kids.”

Harris Bolden currently serves as a State Rep. for Michigan’s 35th House District. First elected in November 2018, Bolden began her service to the State of Michigan in January 2019 and was re-elected to a second term in 2020.

As a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, she serves as the assistant Democratic leader and as a member of the House Judiciary and Insurance Committees. She has focused her work on criminal justice reform, crafting, and passing bipartisan legislation to protect survivors of sexual violence. She is also co-chair of the Legislative Attorney’s Caucus and chair of the House Democratic Caucus Diversity, Equity, and Including Committee.

Prior to her election, Bolden was a civil litigation attorney with Lewis & Munday in Detroit. She also worked as a staff attorney for Judge John A. Murphy in the 3rd Circuit Court of Wayne County and as a court-appointed criminal defense attorney for the 46th District Court of Southfield.

Early in her legal career, Bolden worked as a law clerk for the Law Office of Liss and Shapero, the Detroit Public Schools Office of Labor Relations, and for McLemore Law of Detroit.

Bolden earned her J.D. from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, and she holds a bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University.

“I am incredibly honored to be chosen by Governor Whitmer for this appointment to the Michigan Supreme Court,” says Harris Bolden. “I will ensure equal access to justice, apply the law without fear or favor, and treat all who come before our state’s highest court with dignity and respect.

“I also know that this moment — becoming the first Black woman to serve on the Michigan Supreme Court — would not be possible without leaders like Judges Shelia Johnson, Debra Nance, Deborah Thomas, Cynthia Stephens, and Denise Langford Morris. These are the Black women who blazed the path that I seek to follow. I hope that my voice on the court will inspire future generations to pursue their dreams. I am humbled by this honor, and I am ready to get to work on behalf of all Michiganders.”

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