The Detroit Economic Club presented a conversation with Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack and Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist streamed live from the Masonic Temple by Detroit Public TV on Tuesday, January 28.
The Chief Justice and Lt. Governor believe in safe and strong communities, restoring the dignity of each person, and making sure our justice system works for every family. They are partnering to reform Michigan’s criminal justice system and increase access to justice because they are passionate about equal justice for all and understand that stable and strong families and communities are critical to businesses seeking to grow and create good-paying jobs.
McCormack and Gilchrist have been leading a bipartisan task force focused on a key piece of the criminal justice reform puzzle – understanding who is in jail, why they are there, and whether changes in policies or laws could make our justice system fairer, more effective, and better at preventing crime to safeguard neighborhoods. Their presentation will highlight the task force’s recently-released findings and recommendations and detail other reform initiatives ranging from online dispute resolution to easier expungement of criminal records.
Join us to learn how a more just state is a safer, stronger state.
ABOUT THE HONORABLE BRIDGET MARY MCCORMACK
Chief Justice Bridget Mary McCormack joined the Michigan Supreme Court in January 2013, and became the Chief Justice in January 2019.
An NYU Law graduate, Chief Justice McCormack started her legal career in New York City. In 1996 she joined the Yale Law School faculty. She then joined the University of Michigan Law School faculty, in 1998, where she taught criminal law, legal ethics, and various clinics. She was named Associate Dean for Clinical Affairs in 2002.
Chief Justice McCormack was elected to The American Law Institute in 2013. The U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology appointed her to the National Commission on Forensic Science in 2014. She serves as an editor on the ABA’s preeminent journal, Litigation. In 2019, Governor Whitmer appointed her as Co-Chair of the Michigan Joint Task Force on Jail and Pretrial Incarceration. Chief Justice McCormack continues to teach at the University of Michigan each year as well as publish in professional journals and law media.
Chief Justice McCormack is married to Steven Croley, a partner at Latham and Watkins. They have four children.
ABOUT THE HONORABLE GARLIN GILCHRIST
Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist has dedicated his career to fixing problems for hardworking families. From spearheading campaigns for equality and justice to harnessing technology to solve everyday problems for Detroiters, his focus has consistently remained on serving the public by getting things done.
Bringing Michigan’s state government fully into the 21st century is a top priority for Lt. Governor Gilchrist. He brings a lifetime of experience to the task, receiving his first computer at age five and setting up a computer lab in the community recreation center using computers that he built himself at age 16. Lt. Governor Gilchrist studied computer engineering and computer science at the University of Michigan, graduating with honors, and later had a successful career as a software engineer at Microsoft, helping to build SharePoint into the fastest growing product in the company’s history.
During his time in Seattle, Gilchrist served as Social Media Manager for the 2008 Obama campaign in Washington, where he helped launch a national text message program to recruit volunteers. He later served as the first Director of New Media at the Center for Community Change in Washington, D.C., and spent three years as National Campaign Director at MoveOn.org, where he spearheaded equity and justice campaigns, including fighting to expand Medicaid in states with Republican governors, like Michigan.
This eventually led to his serving as the first ever Director of Innovation & Emerging Technology for the city of Detroit, where he used public data and technology to address every day concerns the community was facing – including an app to report issues such as broken fire hydrants, potholes and broken street lights. This mindset of harnessing technology to solve problems will play a critical role in finding solutions to improve the lives of people across the state.
A native of Detroit, Lt. Governor Gilchrist’s parents are proud lifelong Detroiters. His mother worked at General Motors for 32 years and his father worked in defense contract management for the Department of Defense. His family was active in the community, including serving in leadership roles within their various neighborhood associations, as well as the church. Lt. Governor Gilchrist began speaking at Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Detroit at age four, and later honed his skills under Dr. Frederick G. Sampson at Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church.
Lt. Governor Garlin Gilchrist and his wife, Ellen, currently reside in Detroit where they are raising their twins, Emily and Garlin III, and newborn daughter, Ruby.