There’s a new justice on the Michigan Supreme Court.
Governor Rick Snyder named Kurtis Wilder to the court on Tuesday. He replaces Robert Young, who resigned to move into private practice.
Before his appointment, Wilder served as chief judge of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court. He Also worked for a law firm in Lansing and law firm in Detroit before becoming a judge.
Wilder is considered a conservative judge who has spent nearly two decades on the appeals court.
Wilder says it’s his job to “say what the law is, not what it ought to be.”
Wilder, who is from Canton, also got his undergraduate degree and law degree from the University of Michigan.
“Judge 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 in a press release. “As a veteran judge of more than two decades, Judge 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.”
Republicans have a 5-2 majority on the Supreme Court. Snyder has appointed four of the seven justices; three of those four have subsequently won election on their own.
Wilder may not be the rookie on the court for very long. President Donald Trump nominated Justice Joan Larsen to a post on the federal court. If she’s approved, she will resign her seat on the Michigan Supreme Court.
If he wants to remain on the court, Wilder would need to run for the seat in the 2018 election.