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Zahra for Justice

Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday named Appeals Court Judge Brian Zahra to the Michigan Supreme Court

By Kathy Barks Hoffman, Associated Press

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday named Appeals Court Judge Brian Zahra to the Michigan Supreme Court, maintaining the high court’s one-vote Republican advantage.

Zahra will replace Justice Maura Corrigan, who steps down Friday to become director of the state Department of Human Services. The new justice’s appointment will take effect at noon Friday.

Zahra turned 51 on Sunday. He was appointed to the appeals court in 1999 by GOP Gov. John Engler and elected to the court in 2000 and 2006.

The resident of Wayne County’s Northville Township was a Wayne County Circuit Court judge from 1994-98 and an attorney and partner at the Dickinson Wright law firm from 1989-94. He said Monday that he was recruited to Dickinson Wright by the man who’s now the chief justice on the Supreme Court, Robert Young Jr.

Zahra will have to run again in 2012 to fill out the rest of Corrigan’s term and then will have to run in 2014 to win his first eight-year term.

The move gives the Republican governor a chance to put his mark on the Supreme Court just 10 days after taking office.

“Judge Zahra’s sixteen years of judicial experience and his razor sharp intelligence will make him an outstanding addition to the court,” Snyder said. “His integrity and consistent legal philosophy that judges are to interpret laws, not make them, gives me confidence that he will respect our system of checks and balances while upholding the rule of law.”