Kurt T. WilderGrateful for the positive response my second portrait of Judge Kurt Wilder received at the portrait’s investiture at the Washtenaw County Courthouse in Ann Arbor, MI last week. I made a quick trip to Detroitto be present for this monumental event. My unveiling speech is at the end of this. Kurt Wilder blazed a path for so many others. No more affable and gracious man you will ever meet. And from what speaker after speaker reported, a fair and excellent jurist. Also very exciting, he will be getting married next month!

Wilder was born in Cleveland, Ohio, educated in the public schools and graduated from Cleveland Heights High School. He then attended the University of Michigan, graduating in 1981 with an A.B. degree in political science, and earned his Juris Doctor from the University of Michigan Law School in 1984.[1] After law school, he was in private practice with Foster, Swift, Collins & Smith P.C. in Lansing, and Butzel Long P.C. in Detroit.

In March 1992, Governor John Engler appointed Wilder as judge of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court to complete the six-year term of Ross W. Campbell.[2][3] In November 1992, Wilder was elected to a full term, and was the first African American judge elected in that county.[2][4][5] In December 1998, Governor Engler elevated Wilder to the Michigan First District Court of Appeals.[6][7] Wilder was elected in 2000, and re-elected in 2004, 2010 and 2016.[8]

The Judges of the Washtenaw County Circuit Court

On May 9, 2017, Governor Snyder appointed Wilder to the Michigan Supreme Court.[9][10] Wilder completed his predecessor Robert P. Young Jr.‘s term in December 2018.[10]

View the unveiling speech

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