Political analyst weighs in on resignation of MI Supreme Court chief justice

Michigan's Supreme Court Justice Mary McCormack is resigning
Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 9:36 PM EDT
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SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget McCormack announced she is leaving the bench by the end of the year.

McCormack was just two years into an eight-year term.

She joined the Supreme Court in 2013 and became chief justice only six years later.

The announcement Monday was unexpected and caused some political minds to speculate about what she is planning to do next, including Paul Rozycki, a retired Mott College political science professor.

“I don’t know the reason but as I saw the story, I’m kind of wondering whether or not the chief justice has some other opportunities that have arisen,” Rozycki said. “Either at the University of Michigan or elsewhere that might be more tempting.”

McCormack continues to teach at University of Michigan. She also once served as an associate dean at Michigan Law.

Recently, when justices ordered petitions regarding reproductive rights and expanded voting on the Nov. ballot, McCormack was in the majority.

Those issues landed before the court after the Board of State Canvassers deadlocked on them along party lines.

Governor Gretchen Whitmer will appoint McCormack’s successor.

“We will ensure a smooth transition for Chief Justice McCormack. In the coming months, I will appoint a new justice with Michigan values and an unwavering commitment to the Michigan constitution who can be an arbiter of justice and live up to the great responsibility that comes with the role. I look forward to the work ahead,” Whitmer said in a statement.

“Bridget McCormack was a solid Democrat,” Rozycki said. “The governor will appoint another Democrat, and almost certainly that 4-3 majority will stay there for some time to come.”

McCormack has set a resignation window of between November 22 and December 31, contingent on when Whitmer fills the opening.

Under the state constitution, her successor would serve until 2024 when voters will elect a justice.