Bridget Mary McCormack
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Bridget Mary McCormack
|Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court|
|Assumed office |
January 9, 2019
|Preceded by||Stephen Markman|
|Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court|
|Assumed office |
January 1, 2013
|Preceded by||Marilyn Jean Kelly|
|Born||July 23, 1966|
|Spouse(s)||Steven P. Croley|
|Relations||Mary McCormack (sister)|
|Alma mater||New York University School of Law|
Trinity College, Hartford
Bridget Mary McCormack (born July 23, 1966) is the Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, a position she has held since January 9, 2019. Prior to her election to the court as associate justice in 2012, 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.
McCormack launched and worked in a pediatric advocacy law clinic focusing on children with health problems, and a domestic violence clinic. She is founder of the Michigan Innocence Clinic, the first innocence clinic in the country that exclusively handles non-DNA evidence cases.
In November 2012, she was elected a justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, to replace Marilyn Kelly, who was retiring from the bench. McCormack resigned from her position at the university before joining the Court. In seeking a seat on the Court, McCormack ran an independent outsider campaign, and was not a favorite of the Michigan Democratic Party establishment, though she ultimately received the party's endorsement.
Education and background
McCormack attended a Catholic high school in New Jersey. 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.
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, and became associate dean of clinical affairs in 2003.
As associate dean for clinical affairs at the law school, McCormack supervised students in complex federal litigation in the general clinical program. McCormack 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. As of September 22, 2012, the Michigan Innocence Clinic has exonerated five innocent people who were wrongfully convicted.
McCormack has published articles on constitutional law, criminal law, criminal procedure, evidence, and legal ethics. McCormack 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.
Michigan Supreme Court
In 2012, McCormack ran for a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court. Her campaign included an advertisement encouraging voters to complete the non-partisan section of the ballot where this seat was listed, and also promoting her qualifications. The 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 an individual held without charge in Guantanamo, 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 and questioning whether he should be described as a "terrorist". McCormack was elected, along with incumbents Stephen Markman and Brian Zahra.
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. Her brother, Will McCormack, is an actor and screenwriter.
McCormack is married to University of Michigan Law School professor Steven P. Croley, who, while on leave from the law school, served as general counsel in the United States Department of Energy from May 21, 2014 to January 19, 2017. The couple has four children.
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- "Steven Croley | Department of Energy". energy.gov. Retrieved 2016-12-07.
Marilyn Jean Kelly
| Associate Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court
| Chief Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court|