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Cavanagh, Incumbent Clement secure spots on Michigan Supreme Court

Elizabeth Clement and Megan Cavanagh

Elizabeth Clement and Megan Cavanagh have been elected as Michigan Supreme Court Justices each for an eight-year terms.

Clement, an incumbent justice, received 29.89 percent of the votes while Cavanagh received 25.29 percent. Incumbent Kurtis Wilder was close behind Cavanagh with 24.26 percent of the votes.  

Cavanagh will replace Wilder when his term expires in January 2019. 

The current justices include Clement, Wilder, Richard Bernstein, Bridget Mary McCormack, Brian Zahra, Stephen Markman and David Viviano, with Wilder and . 

While it was officially a nonpartisan election, each candidate was nominated and backed by a political party.  Clement holds her Republican affiliation on the court, while Cavanagh's Democratic affiliation replaces Wilder's Republican affiliation on the court.  

Located in Lansing, the Michigan Supreme Court is considered "the court of last resort" in Michigan, and consists of seven justices including the chief justice. In addition, it is responsible for the administration and supervision of all lower courts in the state.  


Justice Clement became the 11th woman to serve on the bench after being appointed by Gov. (Rick) Snyder in 2017. Before her appointment, she was chief legal counsel for the governor. 

She also served as an attorney, policy adviser, and legal counsel in the Michigan Senate from 2006 to 2010.  

Her website states "she faithfully interprets the law and dispenses fair and impartial justice."

Clement began her legal career as the owner and operator of her own legal practice -- Clement Law, PLLC -- where she focused on family law, divorce and custody.

She has her Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Michigan State University and earned her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University School of Law. 

Clement was endorsed by the Detroit News, Michigan Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Education Association, the Detroit Free Press, the Michigan Professional Firefighters Union and Women lawyers Association of Michigan, among others. 


Cavanagh is a graduate of University of Michigan College of Engineering and Wayne State University Law School, with more than 15 years of experience as a Michigan appellate attorney.

Her father, Justice Michael F. Cavanagh, was one of only two people to have served 32 years on the state Supreme Court. 

According to her website, Cavanagh has served as Chair of the Appellate Practice Section of the State Bar of Michigan,  a councilperson for the Negligence Section of the State Bar of Michigan and as co-chair of the Michigan Bench Bar Appellate Conference Foundation. She is also a member of the Michigan Attorney Grievance Commission. 

"The decisions made by the court affect the lives of each and every citizen of this state and each litigant deserves the opportunity to stand on equal footing before the court, advocate for their position and receive full and fair consideration of the issues," Cavanagh stated on her website. "As a justice, I pledge to work tirelessly, not for any particular side or position, but for the fair and honest administration of justice." 

Cavanagh is endorsed by the Michigan Association for Justice, Detroit News, Michigan Democratic Party, Michigan Nurses Association, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan, Utility Workers Union of America and the Michigan Education Association, among others.