Justices Biographies

Justice BiographiesThe most elementary way to define the Michigan Supreme Court is as a group of individuals who come together to interpret justice. However, it is the interaction between unique individuals that makes the Court function. In order to understand the decisions and actions of the Court, it is helpful to look at the individuals involved in those decisions. By looking at their background and experiences, one gains a clearer understanding of their actions on the Court. The biographies that follow are thumbnail sketches of the Justices of the Michigan Supreme Court since Michigan became a territory, and they are designed to entice readers and researchers into learning more about Michigan’s rich legal history.

The Justices are not only crucial to Michigan history, but to United States and world history as well. They have served in many local government positions and organizations. They have interacted with presidents from Thomas Jefferson to Joseph Biden. They have protected the people of the United States since the beginning of our nation by serving in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, and both World Wars.

Readers should note the interesting lives many of these individuals led. The early justices were pioneers of Michigan; many overcame adversity and oppression, and all of them put their humanity and character on the line to serve the citizens of Michigan as jurists.

Select a Justice biography

ALPHABETICALLY

Clark Adams

Paul Adams

Dennis Archer

Nathaniel Bacon

Frederick Bates

Richard Bernstein

John Bird

Eugene Black

Charles Blair

Patricia Boyle

Emerson Boyles

Thomas E. Brennan

James Brickley

Flavius Brooke

George Bushnell

Henry Butzel

Edward Cahill

James V. Campbell

William Carpenter

Leland Carr

Megan Cavanagh

Michael Cavanagh

John Champlin

Bert Chandler

Henry Chipman

Isaac Christiancy

George Clark

Elizabeth Clement

Mary Coleman

Thomas Cooley

Joseph Copeland

Maura Corrigan

Alton Davis

John Dethmers

Samuel Douglass

George Durand

George Edwards Jr.

Louis Fead

Alpheus Felch

Grant Fellows

John Fitzgerald

Richard Flannigan

William Fletcher

Daniel Goodwin

Claudius Grant

Benjamin Graves

Sanford Green

John Griffin

Robert Griffin

Diane Hathaway

Frank Hooker

John Hunt

David Johnson

Thomas G. Kavanagh

Thomas M. Kavanagh

Harry Kelly

Marilyn Kelly

Mary Beth Kelly

Franz Kuhn

Joan Larsen

Edwin Lawrence

Charles Levin

Lawrence Lindemer

Charles Long

Conrad Mallett Jr.

Randolph Manning

Stephen Markman

Isaac Marston

George Martin

Thomas McAllister

Aaron McAlvay

Bridget McCormack

John McDonald

John McGrath

George Miles

Robert Montgomery

Blair Moody Jr.

Joseph Moore

George Morrell

Allen Morse

Edward Mundy

Walter North

Michael O’Hara

Russell Ostrander

Rollin Person

William Potter

Abner Pratt

Epaphroditus Ransom

Neil Reid

Dorothy Comstock Riley

James Ryan

Edward Sharpe

Nelson Sharpe

Thomas Sherwood

Solomon Sibley

Otis Smith

Talbot Smith

Ernest Snow

Theodore Souris

Raymond Starr

Joseph Steere

John Stone

John Swainson

Clifford Taylor

Harry Toy

Josiah Turner

David Viviano

John Voelker

Thomas AE Weadock

Elizabeth Weaver

Elizabeth Welch

Charles Whipple

Howard Wiest

Kurtis T. Wilder

Ross Wilkins

G. Mennen Williams

Edward Wilson

Warner Wing

Benjamin Witherell

James Witherell

William Woodbridge

Augustus Woodward

Robert Young Jr.

Brian Zahra