Michigan's Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appointed Bolden to replace former Chief Justice Bridget McCormack who will retire at the end of her current term. Bolden will join the court at the beginning of next year.
Attending an event where her appointment was announced, Bolden expressed her gratitude for the historic moment and what it means for Black women.
“For years, a Black woman's experiences and perspective have been absent from our state's highest court," she said. "To the countless Black women upon whose shoulders I stand, who, like my own mother and grandmother, instill in our community the core responsibilities of honesty, empathy and justice, I promise that I will honor our experience from this new vantage point."
“Kyra brings a perspective, and an aptitude, a temperament, and an unwavering commitment to the law to the bench. And I think that she will make us all very proud here in Michigan," Whitmer added.
In this past election cycle, Bolden was nominated by the Democrats in Michigan as a candidate for one of the two open seats on the court. She received the third-most votes behind incumbent Justice Richard Bernstein, a Democratoc nominee, and Justice Brian Zahra, nominated by Republicans.
A lifelong resident of Southfield, Michigan, Bolden received her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University and went on to attend the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law, where she earned her Juris Doctorate.
Boasting a distinguished community service record, she has worked with the National Congress of Black Women-Oakland County, the Women Lawyers Association of Michigan, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. And, she was a commissioner of the Total Living Commission for the city of Southfield.
Before being elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2018, Bolden served as a judicial clerk for Judge John A. Murphy in Wayne County and practiced civil litigation at Lewis & Munday. She was inspired to pursue law and politics after her great-grandmother told her that her great-grandfather was lynched in the 1930s in Tennessee.
"I've always been trying to find my place in the justice system, how to make it more equitable, just given our history and how important representation is and how important this moment is that we have justice," she said in an interview. "Because a lot of people don't realize justice is a quality-of-life issue. Not only for Michiganders but for everyone in this country."
In 2024, Bolden will have to run for re-election to complete the remainder of McCormack’s term and then again in the 2028 general election if she wants to serve another full eight-year term.