Governor names Wilder to Michigan Supreme Court


On Tuesday, Gov. Rick Snyder (right) named Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Kurtis T. Wilder (center) to the Michigan Supreme Court.  Lt. Gov. Brian Calley (left) was also on hand for the announcement.
– Photo courtesy of Office of the Governor

Michigan Court of Appeals Judge Kurtis T. Wilder was appointed Tuesday to the Michigan Supreme Court by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Wilder, of Canton, fills the vacancy created by the resignation of Justice Robert P. Young.

“Wilder has long demonstrated his keen intellect, his ability to navigate complex legal issues and his aptitude for forming consensus on the court,” Snyder said. “As a veteran judge of more than two decades, Wilder is committed to the rule of law and the proper role of the judiciary. He is a superb addition to our highest court and I am certain he will continue the Michigan Supreme Court’s reputation of excellence.”

“Judge Kurt Wilder brings a long tenure of honor and integrity to the Michigan Supreme Court,” Lt. Gov. Brian Calley added. “His wealth of experience combined with his commitment to
upholding our Constitution make him an excellent choice for our state’s highest court.”

“My colleagues and I are extremely pleased to welcome Judge Kurt Wilder to the Michigan Supreme Court,” said Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Markman.  “Judge Wilder brings a quarter century of experience on the trial and appellate courts of this state.  Equally important, he brings what has been a consistent commitment to the equal rule of law and unwavering support for the  values  of  the  constitutions  of  the  United  States  and  the  State  of  Michigan.  Governor  Snyder  and  all  of  the  people  of  our  state  can  take  great  pride  in  this appointment.”

Prior to being appointed to the Michigan Court of Appeals, Wilder served as chief judge of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court. Before taking the bench, Wilder was in private practice at prominent Michigan law firms Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith PC in Lansing, and Butzel Long PC in Detroit.

Butzel Long President Justin G. Klimko stated, “Kurt was a highly respected peer with Butzel Long earlier in his career and has developed a well-deserved reputation as a thoughtful and diligent judge on the Court of Appeals.  He will be a strong addition to the Michigan Supreme Court.”

Wilder is a member of the State Bar of Michigan; the Fellows of the Michigan State Bar Foundation; the Michigan Judges Association; the Association of Black Judges of Michigan; the Federalist Society, Board of Advisors, Michigan Chapter; and the Wolverine Bar Association. Recognizing Wilder’s abilities, the Michigan Supreme Court and the State Bar of Michigan have tapped him numerous times to participate in or lead committees and workgroups.

Wilder earned both his law and undergraduate degrees from the University of Michigan.

In addition to his service in the legal community, Wilder is also actively involved in other community and nonprofit organizations. He is a life-member of the Detroit Chapter of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People; he serves on the Board of Directors of the Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation and the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Wilder is a past member of the Board of Trustees of the Interlochen Center for the Arts; Walsh College’s President’s Advisory Council; the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan; the American Heart Association and many other organizations.

Supreme Court justices serve eight-year terms. Incoming Justice Wilder will be eligible for election to a full eight-year term in November of 2018.

Under Article VI, Section 23 of the state constitution, the appointment belongs to the governor alone and is not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.