Michigan Reaching Breakthrough Moment for Access to Justice, Says Chief Justice McCormack

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack says the pandemic has helped create a more just courts system.

Michigan Supreme Court
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Michigan may be reaching a breakthrough moment when it comes to access to justice. That’s according to Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack.

She tells MichMash hosts Cheyna Roth and Jake Neher that the pandemic has played a big role in getting Michigan’s justice system to a better, fairer place.


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“There has been more change in the state courts in the last 18 months than in a century, and I’m not exaggerating,” McCormack says. “We had to figure out how to make sure people could continue to access justice but we had to keep people safe in the middle of a global pandemic.”

“It’s really the new ways of accessing courts, which are really a service more than a place, that’s most exciting,” she continues. “In places where they have really good data, we’re seeing that far more people show up for their court appearances when they have a remote option.”

“The justice system is really kind of the operating system for our society and the public’s confidence that it delivers on the promise of equal justice is foundational to our democratic norms.” –Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack

McCormack wrote about this move toward better access to Michigan courts recently in the Michigan Bar Journal.

She says this is a subject that everyone in the state should care about regardless of how often they interact with the courts system.

“The justice system is really kind of the operating system for our society and the public’s confidence that it delivers on the promise of equal justice is foundational to our democratic norms,” says McCormack.

More from MichMash:

Bills to Address Gun Violence Languish in Legislature Amid Calls for Action

Michigan Would Revert to Restrictive Abortion Ban If Roe v. Wade Is Overturned

What We’re Learning As Michigan Redistricting Commission’s First Political Maps Take Shape

Infrastructure Package Could Be Big Boost for Michigan, But Major Challenges Remain

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Authors

  • Cheyna Roth

    Cheyna has interned with Michigan Radio and freelanced for WKAR public radio in Lansing. She's also done some online freelancing and worked on documentary films.

  • Jake Neher

    Jake Neher is senior producer for Detroit Today and host of MichMash for 101.9 WDET. He previously reported on the Michigan Legislature for the Michigan Public Radio Network.