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Stateside Podcast: The Bernstein admonishment

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio
Michigan Supreme Court Justices Kyra Harris Bolden, left, and Richard Bernstein take the oath of office together January 1, 2023.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein publicly admonished a colleague on the court for hiring a clerk whose past Bernstein thought unbecoming of the court. Bernstein's decision to lambast Justice Kyra Harris Bolden, and her clerk, has drawn sharp criticism. Bernstein issued a statement to apologize today, but not before the clerk resigned under duress. Here's Bernstein's statement:

“Today, I apologized to my colleague Justice Kyra Harris Bolden in-person at the Hall of Justice and she has accepted my apology. I regret overstepping Justice Bolden’s hiring process and should not have disturbed her ability to lead her Chambers.

I would also like to apologize to Mr. Peter Martel. Mr. Martel is not an elected official and my actions invited people into his life in a way that he had not signed up for and he deserved more consideration.  

I am committed to working with Justice Bolden in the coming years to advance our many shared values, including immediately working to expand opportunities in the legal field for those who have repaid their debts to society.

My day-to-day priority going forward will be to fulfill the confidence placed in me by the people of Michigan. I will not take that for granted and will focus on evaluating each case based on its merits and the laws of Michigan, as the citizens of our State expect.”


Colin Jackson, Michigan Public Radio Network


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