Zahra, Bernstein reelected to Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan Hall of Justice
Posted at 11:13 AM, Nov 09, 2022

LANSING, Mich. — Voters reelected two Michigan Supreme Court justices, maintaining the Democratic Party's 4-3 majority.

Justice Richard Bernstein was first in the five-candidate field Tuesday with more than 30% of the vote, followed by Justice Brian Zahra at 24%. The two top finishers get seats.

Bernstein was nominated by the Democratic Party, and Zahra was nominated by the Republican Party.

The ballot doesn't list Supreme Court candidates by party affiliation, but incumbents are identified as justices, which is an advantage in a race where candidates typically aren’t well known.

Zahra, one of the court's two most conservative members, apparently was not hurt by his opposition to placing an abortion-rights question on the ballot. In September, he disagreed with a decision to put Proposal 3 in front of voters. Critics had tried to block it on technical grounds.

Proposal 3 was approved by voters Tuesday.

Kyra Harris Bolden, a Democrat, finished third in the Supreme Court race, and Republican Paul Hudson was fourth.

Zahra has been on the Supreme Court since 2011 when then-Gov. Rick Snyder appointed him to a vacancy. Bernstein, Michigan's first blind justice, was first elected in 2014.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer soon will appoint a successor to Chief Justice Bridget McCormack, who plans to resign no later than the end of the year.

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