LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced her appointment of Kyra Harris Bolden to the Michigan Supreme Court Tuesday.

Since the announcement, lawmakers and state officials are responding to Bolden joining the bench.

Gretchen Whitmer
Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

Gov. Whitmer said that she knows that Bolden will be committed to fighting for justice for generations.

Today, I am honored to announce that I will be appointing Kyra Harris Bolden to the Michigan Supreme Court. 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.” 

Gov. Whitmer

Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist said he is proud to know that his daughters can see themselves represented in Michigan’s highest court.

Michigan Lt. Gov. Garlin Gilchrist.

Kyra Harris Bolden will protect the rule of law and stand up for justice for generations. Today, I am proud knowing that my daughters can see themselves reflected on the highest court in our state, and I am excited about the legal expertise and lived experience that Kyra will bring to consequential decisions on a wide range of issues. I know she will stand tall for Michigan.” 

Lt. Gov. Gilchrist

Attorney General Dana Nessel commended Gov. Whitmer for selecting Bolden to fill the vacancy.

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.

The composition of our courts should reflect the population its rulings impact. I commend the Governor for selecting Kyra Bolden to serve on our state’s highest court. I know Representative Bolden to be a sincere, caring and thoughtful person who will always take into consideration the substantial impact of each and every one of her opinions. She will serve the state with integrity and humility and will do so honorably.”

Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel

Recently elected Chief Justice for the Michigan Supreme Court Elizabeth T. Clements called Bolden’s appointment a “groundbreaking step forward.”

Michigan’s courts are on a steady path to becoming more accessible, more engaged, and more inclusive, and today’s addition to the Supreme Court is a groundbreaking step forward. We are thrilled to welcome the first Black woman to the Court and ready to work with her, leading an independent branch of government committed to the rule of law and a justice system that works for everyone.” 

Elizabeth T. Clements, Chief Justice for the Michigan Supreme Court

Judge John A. Murphy, Michigan’s longest-serving judge in Michigan, as well as the longest-serving elected African American judge in Michigan’s history, reflected on Bolden’s time working as his law clerk and litigator.

This is a monumental day. Kyra Harris Bolden’s historic appointment to the Michigan Supreme Court will impact justice and fairness in Michigan for generations to come. Her experience as my judicial law clerk, litigator, and her time in the state legislature, coupled with her empathy, inquisitiveness, and sense of justice, will make her an asset to this role. Kyra is an excellent appointee and will make an excellent Justice. I look forward to seeing the impact she will make on the bench.”  

Judge John A. Murphy
Democratic State Rep. Mari Manoogian.

State legislators took to Twitter to celebrate the news of Bolden’s appointment.

State Rep. Mari Manoogian said she couldn’t express how proud she is of Bolden.

“Words cannot fully express how proud I am of @KyraHBolden for earning this appointment to the @MISupremeCourt. History made. A Justice for Generations,” Manoogian said on Twitter.

State Sen. Marshall Block wished Kyra congratulations on Twitter.

“To My Friend, My Colleague, My MLBC Sister – Congratulations On Your Appointment to the Michigan Supreme Court! Justice Kyra Harris Bolden Loading!” Block exclaimed.

State Rep. Matt Koleszar said he is excited to see all of the work Bolden will do on the bench.

“Wishing the most heartfelt congratulations to my friend, colleague, and soon to be State Supreme Court Justice, @KyraHBolden! I’m so excited to see all the great work you’ll do in this new role. It is a great day for the people of Michigan,” Kolezsar said.

Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich (D-Flint) said that Michiganders are in great hands with Bolden’s appointment.

Michigan residents are going to be in great hands with Justice Bolden on the Supreme Court. Kyra is a tested leader and a deliberative thinker who will be a strong voice for those who haven’t often had a fair shake in our judicial system,” Ananich said. “Gov. Whitmer chose an appointee who will defend democracy, promote equal rights, and ensure that justice is accessible to all Michiganders. I look forward to seeing the many ways Kyra advances our state from the bench.”

The Michigan Democratic Party Chair Lavora Barnes was thrilled with the news.

I am thrilled with the appointment of Kyra Harris Bolden to the State Supreme Court.  As a state legislator with her record of standing up for Michigan families and seeking justice for everyone, Harris Bolden will bring a vital voice to the court.  As the first Black woman on the court she will bring a new and needed perspective and approach to tackling whatever challenging issues come before her.”

MDP Chair Lavora Barnes

John E. Johnson Jr., Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, said that the appointment marks a significant moment in Michigan’s history.

Governor Whitmer’s appointment of Kyra Harris Bolden to the Michigan Supreme Court marks a significant and consequential moment in the history of our state. As the first Black woman to serve in that capacity, she will bring a long-missing perspective to the deliberations of the state’s highest court. That alone makes this a monumental decision, but Ms. Bolden brings more to the table than her racial identity. Her trial experience as a criminal defense attorney, her leadership on important public policy and her dedication to justice – the legacy of her own great-grandfather’s lynching – will inform her decisions and bring the court closer to the goal of achieving equal justice for all.”

John E. Johnson Jr., Executive Director of the Michigan Department of Civil Rights