Two Supreme Court justices announce re-election plans

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Michigan Supreme Court Justices Kurtis Wilder and Elizabeth Clement this week launched their campaign for re-election, vowing to work together on the campaign trail in the same collegial manner that marks their work on the high court.

“I am proud today to join my colleague Elizabeth Clement in launching our campaign so that we can continue our important work on the Michigan Supreme Court,” said Justice Wilder. “Our mission to uphold our Constitution, defend the rule of law, and deliver justice to the great people of Michigan is not only vital to maintaining our free society, but rewarding and fulfilling to those of us who have dedicated our lives to the law. I can’t think of a better colleague to work with in that effort than Justice Elizabeth Clement. I look forward to hitting the campaign trail with her as we take our vision to the people.”

Wilder was appointed to the Michigan Supreme Court in May 2017 to replace former Chief Justice Robert Young. Prior to his elevation to the Supreme Court, Wilder served on the Michigan Court of Appeals since his appointment to that bench by former Governor John Engler in 1998. He also served as a judge on the Washtenaw County Circuit Court from 1992-98.

Justice Wilder received a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan in 1981 and a Juris Doctor degree from University of Michigan Law School in 1984. Following graduation, he served in private practice from 1984-92.

Long active in the community, Wilder formerly served as chair of the State of Michigan Community Corrections Advisory Board and as former board chair of the National Kidney Foundation of Michigan. A resident of Canton Township, Wilder currently serves on the boards of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Children’s Hospital of Michigan Foundation, and Interlochen Center for the Arts.

Clement was appointed to the high court earlier this year as the 11th female justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, replacing Justice Joan Larsen who was appointed to the United States 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. Prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court, she served as chief legal counsel to Governor Rick Snyder, focusing on a broad spectrum of legal, legislative and policy initiatives.

“Serving on the Michigan Supreme Court is the honor of a lifetime and a tremendous responsibility that I take very seriously,” said Justice Clement. “The people, families, and job creators of our state demand that our courts be focused solely on upholding the rule of law in a fair and impartial manner and that we as jurists not legislate from the bench. I am proud of the fact that this is exactly how we administer justice on the Michigan Supreme Court and that is the message Justice Wilder and I will take to the people of our great state.”

As chief legal counsel, Clement served as the Governor’s liaison to the Michigan Attorney General on litigation involving the state. Additional responsibilities included negotiating compacts and agreements with Michigan’s Native American Tribes, contract negotiations, and judicial appointments. Prior to serving as chief legal counsel she was Cabinet Secretary, Deputy Chief of Staff, and Deputy Legal Counsel.

Prior to service in state government, Clement was in private practice representing individuals in the areas of family law, adoption, probate, estate planning, and criminal law.

A lifelong Michigander, Clement earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Michigan State University in 1999. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law in 2002.
Clement, her husband Tom, and their four children reside in East Lansing.

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