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Who’s running for Michigan Supreme Court in 2024?

Michigan Supreme Court
Two Michigan Supreme Court seats will be up for election this fall, one for a full term and one for a partial term. (Shutterstock)
  • Four candidates currently vying for Michigan Supreme Court seats
  • Kyra Harris Bolden seeks to continue her term after 2022 Whitmer appointment
  • Justice David Viviano won’t seek reelection, leaving an open seat and no Republican-nominated incumbents in 2024 election

With one long-time justice preparing to leave the bench and another defending her recent appointment, Michigan Supreme Court elections could get interesting this year. 

On March 15, Justice David Viviano announced he wouldn’t seek reelection for his seat on Michigan’s highest court, leaving the Republican Party without an incumbent nominee in the 2024 cycle. 

Voters will also decide this fall whether Justice Kyra Harris Bolden, an appointee of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, remains on the bench to finish out the remainder of former Chief Justice Bridget McCormack’s term.


The Michigan Supreme Court often has the final say on issues of critical importance, including whether laws enacted by the state Legislature are constitutional or weighing in on the validity of ballot initiatives.


Although Supreme Court elections in Michigan are nonpartisan, candidates’ nominations are a political process, with delegates at state party conventions determining who advances to the November ballot. 

The seven-member court is currently split 4-3, with Democratic nominees holding a one-justice majority. 

As of late March, four prospective candidates are seeking nominations to the ballot. Here’s who’s in so far: 

Kyra Harris Bolden

Bolden, of Southfield, was nominated to the court by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in November 2022 to replace former Justice McCormack. She must run for reelection to serve out the remainder of McCormack’s term, which expires Jan. 1, 2029, and will seek a Democratic nomination. 

Bolden is the first Black woman to serve in the Michigan Supreme Court and is the only justice on the bench with past legislative experience. 

Justice Kyra Harris Bolden headshot
Justice Kyra Harris Bolden (Courtesy)

She unsuccessfully ran for one of two seats that were up for election in 2022, coming in third behind incumbents Richard Bernstein and Brian Zahra. 

Prior to her court appointment, Bolden served two terms in the Legislature as a Democrat, where she worked on criminal justice reforms and championed bills to protect survivors of sexual violence

She’s also worked as a criminal defense and civil litigation attorney and clerked in Wayne County’s Third Circuit Court under Judge John Murphy. 

Bolden graduated from Grand Valley State University and the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. She’s said she was inspired to pursue law after learning the story of her great grandfather, who was lynched in Tennessee in 1939. 

Mark Boonstra

Boonstra is a sitting Court of Appeals judge and entered the race for Supreme Court after Viviano announced his retirement.

Boonstra worked as a private practice attorney with Miller Canfield before joining the Court of Appeals in 2012, and has authored books on the U.S. Constitution and its signers. He graduated from Michigan State University and the University of Michigan.

Court of Appeals Judge Mark Boonstra headshot
Court of Appeals Judge Mark Boonstra (Courtesy)

Boonstra, who is expected to seek a GOP nomination, said in a statement announcing his campaign that he would provide an “unbiased, rule-of-law approach” if elected to the high court. 

Boonstra has been outspoken in his opposition to using personal pronouns in court cases, writing in a December 2021 opinion that he declined “to join in the insanity that has apparently now reached the courts” and refer to a defendant using they/them pronouns. 

The court in 2023 required Michigan judges to either use the pronouns specified by legal parties or to address people in their courtrooms by their names "or other respectful means." 

Boonstra picked up endorsements from several former justices, including Robert Young, Clifford Taylor, Maura Corrigan and Stephen Markman. 

Andrew Fink

Fink, of Adams Township, currently serves as a Republican lawmaker in the state House of Representatives, where he serves as vice chair of the House Judiciary Committee.

Fink initially intended to challenge Bolden for her partial term, but more recently said he’ll seek a GOP nomination to run for Viviano’s open seat after the sitting justice announced his retirement. 

State Rep. Andrew Fink, R-Adams Township headshot
State Rep. Andrew Fink, R-Adams Township (Courtesy)

Fink graduated from Hillsdale College and University of Michigan Law School, then served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps from 2009 to 2016.

In a September 2023 statement announcing his candidacy, Fink said he would take an originalist approach to the court and would strive to interpret laws as written. 

“As a justice, one of my priorities will be to restore faith in government institutions by emphasizing transparency, accountability, and integrity in our state’s court system,” Fink said at the time. 

Kimberly Ann Thomas

Thomas is a law professor at the University of Michigan Law School, where she teaches civil and criminal litigation and runs the Juvenile Justice Clinic.

Kimberly Ann Thomas headshot
University of Michigan law professor Kimberly Ann Thomas (Courtesy)

Thomas, who is expected to seek a Democratic party nomination, served as a Whitmer appointee on the state’s bipartisan Task Force on Juvenile Justice Reform from 2021-2022 and has also served as a Fulbright Scholar.

Thomas joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty in 2003 and previously worked as a trial attorney. She graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park and Harvard Law School.

On her campaign website, Thomas’ stated priorities include a commitment to equal access to justice for low-income residents and improving state court systems.

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