Bridget Mary McCormack

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Bridget Mary McCormack
Bridget McCormack.jpg
Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court
Incumbent
Assumed office
January 1, 2013
Preceded by Marilyn Kelly
Personal details
Alma mater New York University School of Law
Trinity College, Hartford

Bridget Mary McCormack is a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court since January 1, 2013. Prior to her election, she was a professor at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. She taught criminal law and legal ethics and oversaw the law school's clinical programs as associate dean of clinical affairs. Her academic work focused on practical experience in legal education.[1]

She launched and worked in a pediatric advocacy law clinic focusing on children with health problems, and a domestic violence clinic. Additionally, she is founder of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, the first innocence clinic in the country that exclusively handles non-DNA evidence cases.[1][2]

In November 2012, she was elected a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, to replace Marilyn Kelly, who was retiring from the bench.[1] McCormack resigned from her position at the university before joining the Court.[2] McCormack is considered a liberal.[2] Her campaign for Supreme Court was endorsed by the Michigan Democratic Party, although in Michigan state Supreme Court elections appear on the nonpartisan section of the ballot.[3]

Education and background[edit]

McCormack went to high school in central New Jersey.[4] She received her B.A. with honors in political science and philosophy from Trinity College in Connecticut in 1988. She received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Scholar, in 1991.[1]

McCormack started her legal career in New York, first as trial counsel at the Legal Aid Society and then at the Office of the Appellate Defender. She taught at Yale Law School in New Haven, Connecticut as a Robert M. Cover Fellow from 1997-98. She joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Law School in 1998,[2] and has served as its associate dean of clinical affairs since 2003.

Professional activities[edit]

As associate dean for clinical affairs at the law school, McCormack supervises students in complex federal litigation in the general clinical program. McCormack has also worked to expand Michigan Law School's clinical offerings during her tenure.

In 2008, McCormack founded the Michigan Innocence Clinic, which is the nation's first exclusively non-DNA innocence clinic.[5] As of September 22, 2012, the Michigan Innocence Clinic has exonerated five innocent people who were wrongfully convicted.[6][7][8][9]

McCormack has published articles on constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, and legal ethics.[10] McCormack also serves on the Association of American Law Schools Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure. In 2008, she testified before the Detroit City Council about its investigation of the city attorney's role in the case involving former Detroit Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick.[10]

Michigan Supreme Court[edit]

In 2012, McCormack won election to the Michigan Supreme Court.

McCormack's campaign included a campaign ad encouraging voters to complete the non-partisan section of the ballot, where seats such as the one she was running for are listed.[11] The campaign ad featured a reunion of much of the principal cast of The West Wing, including McCormack's sister Mary. During the campaign, the Judicial Crisis Network released an ad claiming that McCormack had "volunteered to help free a terrorist" when she represented accused mercenary Abdumuqit Vohidov. Andrew Rosenthal of the New York Times criticized the ad as exploitative, pointing out that Vohidov was released by a non-judicial board (not through McCormack's efforts), and questioning whether he should be described as a "terrorist".[12]

McCormack and incumbents Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra were elected on November 6, 2012.[13][14]

Personal life[edit]

McCormack's father is a former United States Marine and retired small business owner, and her mother is a clinical social worker. McCormack's sister Mary McCormack is an actress, known for her role as Kate Harper in the NBC series The West Wing, as well as Howard Stern's wife in Private Parts and her lead role as Mary Shannon on USA Network's In Plain Sight. Her brother, Will McCormack, is an actor and screenwriter.[3]

McCormack is married to University of Michigan Law School professor Steven P. Croley, currently on leave serving in the Obama Administration as a deputy White House counsel. The couple have four children.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Faculty Bio: Bridget Mary McCormack, University of Michigan Law School.
  2. ^ a b c d Peter Shahin & Haley Goldberg, McCormack, Markman to assume seats on state Supreme Court, Michigan Daily (Nov. 7, 2012).
  3. ^ a b c How Michigan judicial candidate Bridget Mary McCormack got ‘The West Wing’ cast for her campaign video (Sep. 20, 2012). Washington Post.
  4. ^ Rob Trucks, Bridget Mary and Mary McCormack: The Rhapsody Interview, Rhapsody.com (Oct. 29, 2012).
  5. ^ Munslow, Amy (18 February 2009). "Innocence Clinic defends wronged prisoners". The Michigan Daily. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  6. ^ Michigan's Innocence Clinic. Out of the Blue. 9 September 2009. Retrieved 19 January 2010. 
  7. ^ "Provience's providence". Metro Times. 31 March 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2009. 
  8. ^ Svoboda, Sandra (12 January 2011). "When Innocence is Pink". Metro Times. Retrieved 19 January 2011. 
  9. ^ Gay, Mara (16 July 2012). "Ordeal by Fire". The Daily. Retrieved 21 July 2012. 
  10. ^ a b "Faculty bios: Bridget M. McCormack". Michigan University School of Law. Retrieved 2008-10-20. 
  11. ^ "How Michigan judicial candidate Bridget Mary McCormack got ‘The West Wing’ cast for her campaign video". The Washington Post. 20 September 2012. Retrieved 23 September 2012. 
  12. ^ Andrew Rosenthal (2012-11-01). "Everyone Deserves Legal Representation". New York Times. Archived from the original on 2012-11-01. 
  13. ^ "Election results 2012: Michigan Supreme Court stays conservative; 2 incumbents win along with 1 newcomer". Michigan Live. 2012-11-07. Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  14. ^ John Wisely (2012-11-07). "Republican-nominated justices led in their races to maintain control of the Michigan Supreme Court". Lansing State Journal. Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. 

External links[edit]