© 2024 WEMU
Serving Ypsilanti, Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County, MI
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Beth Clement selected by colleagues as new Michigan Supreme Court chief justice

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Beth Clement
Michigan Supreme Court
Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Beth Clement

Elizabeth Clementis the new chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court. She was chosen this week in a closed-door meeting of the justices.

Clement – who was named to the court in 2017 by Republican Governor Rick Snyder – has shown an independent streak. She has outraged conservatives by joining decisions to allow a redistricting question onto the 2018 ballot and finding that LGBTQ rights are protected by thestate’s civil rights law. She was even booed by some delegates at a Republican convention that nominated her.

“The other two branches of government are partisan,” she said in an interview with Michigan Public Radio, “and the judiciary is intended to be non-partisan and that we take that very seriously and we all do our best to make sure that the public feels that with every, with every single interaction they have with the judicial branch.”

Clement is not a fan of Michigan’s quirky system where state Supreme Court candidates are nominated by Republican or Democratic conventions but appear on the non-partisan part of the ballot.

“Oh yeah, I have very strong feelings on that,” she said. But Clement also said she’s not ready to lobby for any specific changes. She says any future system should include voter-approval to fill Supreme Court vacancies.

Clement’s predecessor, Justice Bridget Mary McCormack, is getting ready to leave the court for a new position with an organization that helps provide arbitration as an alternative to court battles. McCormack, a Democratic Party-nominated candidate, was selected as chief justice while the court had a Republican majority.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will name a replacement for McCormack once she formally exits the Supreme Court.

Non-commercial, fact based reporting is made possible by your financial support.  Make your donation to WEMU todayto keep your community NPR station thriving.

Like 89.1 WEMU on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

Rick Pluta is the managing editor for the Michigan Public Radio Network.
Related Content