Michigan Supreme Court: Candidate Bagenstos comes to Marquette, emphasizes importance of November race

Bagenstos, who is currently a University of Michigan law professor, served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder. He was a law clerk to Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg on the U.S. Supreme Court and has served as an attorney on civil rights cases across the nation, including four U.S. Supreme Court cases.

His extensive experience in litigating major civil rights cases surrounding environmental justice, rights for people with disabilities, women’s rights and voting rights has left him uniquely prepared to serve on the Michigan Supreme Court, Bagenstos said.

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Samuel Bagenstos
LGBTQ Ally Vies for Seat on Michigan Supreme Court

Considered by some to be the most important race for the people, the campaign for justice of the Michigan Supreme Court can often be overlooked when the public is particularly focused on the gubernatorial and congressional races. This year, two of the court’s seven seats are up for consideration and following the November election, 25-year strong civil rights attorney Sam Bagenstos is hoping to fill one of them. . . .
“I really do think this is a crucial moment for our state Supreme Court,” he said. “We’re at a crossroads about whether this is a court that can be counted on to fill the gaps created by a conservative dominated federal judiciary or not.”

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Samuel Bagenstos
Supreme Court candidate visits Houghton

Michigan has a Supreme Court? And we vote for it?

It does, and we do. Bagenstos, who is on the November ballot as a Democratic-endorsed candidate, was in Houghton Saturday to campaign and to talk about the court’s importance to Michiganders.

The state Supreme Court decides issues with everyday impact, Bagenstos said, such as consumer protections, workplace rights or environmental regulations.

Bagenstos said the court has gained a new importance with President Donald Trump’s success in getting large numbers of young, ideological judges into federal posts.

“Really for the next generation, the federal courts aren’t going to be the place that is open to protect basic rights in the way they have been in the past,” he said. “So the state Supreme Court is going to be, over the next 10 to 20 years, a place where you’re going to see a lot of the issues you used to see at the U.S. Supreme Court, whether those are about issues of reproductive justice, issues of equality.”

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Samuel Bagenstos
Bagenstos: Supreme Court’s “Extremely Regrettable” Janus Decision “Undermines Strong Unions”

Samuel Bagenstos, a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in Janus v. AFSCME:

            “Today’s decision in the Janus case is extremely regrettable.  The decision overrules a 40-year-old precedent, disrupts settled arrangements in cities and states across the country, and undermines strong unions.

            “I was proud to file a brief that made the case for the Court to adhere to its longstanding precedent allowing unions to collect fair-share fees from the workers they represent.  Our brief argued that strong and stable unions do not just benefit workers; they also benefit society by promoting the effective delivery of public services.”

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Samuel Bagenstos
Daily Kos Endorses Samuel Bagenstos for Justice

In their first-ever endorsement of a judicial candidate, the progressive website Daily Kos has endorsed Samuel Bagenstos's campaign to serve as a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

"Sam Bagenstos is a nationally respected civil rights lawyer who has won important victories for working people at all levels of the court system -- including the U.S. Supreme Court," said Daily Kos Political Editor and Senior Communications Advisor Carolyn Fiddler. "He will bring greater fairness and needed change to the Michigan Supreme Court."

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Samuel Bagenstos
Teamsters and AFSCME Endorse Samuel Bagenstos for Justice

Samuel Bagenstos announced today that he has received the endorsements of the Michigan Teamsters Joint Council No. 43 and AFSCME Council 25 in his campaign to serve as a Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court.

“I am proud to be endorsed by the Teamsters and AFSCME, two unions with a powerful history of standing up for their members,” Bagenstos said.  “I’m grateful for their confidence, and for the organization and grassroots energy they bring to my campaign.”

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Bagenstos: Supreme Court’s “Deeply Disappointing” Epic Systems Decision “Denies Workers Their Day in Court”

Samuel Bagenstos, a candidate for the Michigan Supreme Court, issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision today in Epic Systems, Inc. v. Lewis:

            “Today’s decision in the Epic Systems case is deeply disappointing.  The decision denies workers their day in court to challenge violations of their employment rights.

            “I was proud to file a brief in this case on behalf of responsible small businesses.  Our brief argued that, when employers require workers, as a condition of employment, to give up their rights to pursue class actions, the result is to undermine the protection of the entire sweep of workplace rights.  And responsible small businesses, who want to comply with the law, are forced to compete on a tilted playing field.”

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AFT-Michigan Endorses Samuel Bagenstos for Justice

Samuel Bagenstos has received the endorsement of AFT Michigan in his campaign for the Michigan Supreme Court.

AFT Michigan is the 35,000-member state federation of the 1.5-million-member American Federation of Teachers (AFL-CIO).  AFT Michigan represents PreK-12 and ISD teachers and support staff, community college and university faculty, lecturers, administrators and graduate employees, and credit union employees.

"I'm proud to have received the endorsement of AFT Michigan," Bagenstos said.  "This endorsement is especially sweet to me, because both of my parents were teachers.  Throughout my career, I have fought for the rights of working people."

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UAW Endorses Samuel Bagenstos for Justice

“Sam Bagenstos is one of the most respected legal minds in the areas of Civil Rights and Constitutional laws. Michigan has an opportunity to elect a Justice whose legal knowledge is nationally recognized and who will ground the Michigan Supreme Court in solid decision making for working families,” said [UAW President Dennis] Williams.

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Samuel Bagenstos
Samuel Bagenstos Receives Endorsement of the Michigan Democratic Party

At the Michigan Democratic Party's Endorsement Convention, held on April 15 at Cobo Hall, a historic turnout of 6,700 delegates voted to endorse Samuel Bagenstos for the Michigan Supreme Court.  The turnout was fueled by a surge of over 3,000 new members of the Democratic Party. 

"I'm proud to have received the Democratic Party's endorsement," Bagenstos said.  "The incredible turnout highlights what I've seen as I've traveled the state -- that Michiganders are energized for change this November."

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Samuel Bagenstos
Michigan AFL-CIO Endorses Samuel Bagenstos for Justice

The Bagenstos for Justice campaign is pleased to announce that Samuel Bagenstos today received the endorsement of the Michigan AFL-CIO in his race for the Michigan Supreme Court.  The AFL-CIO’s endorsement, coming close on the heels of the endorsement Bagenstos received from the Michigan Association for Justice late last month, highlights his campaign’s momentum as we head toward the Democratic Party’s Endorsement Convention on April 15.

“Under the justices that have been appointed by Governor Snyder, Michigan’s Supreme Court has been tilted to favor wealthy special interests over regular working people, and that needs to change,” said Ron Bieber, President of the Michigan AFL-CIO, in announcing the endorsement. “We need to elect Supreme Court candidates this year who will fight to build a justice system in Michigan that is open, fair, and treats everyone equally. Sam [Bagenstos] and Megan [Cavanagh] are both outstanding candidates with impeccable credentials, and our members are committed to electing them to the Supreme Court this November.”

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Samuel Bagenstos
Samuel Bagenstos Appears on Millennial Politics Podcast

"Sam Bagenstos has spent the past 25 years of his life fighting tirelessly for civil rights. Kicking his career off on a high note, Sam clerked for the recently departed Ninth Circuit Judge Stephen Reinhardt, who was considered one of the most progressive courts of appeals judges, and Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

“Inspired to become a lawyer by the civil rights movement of the 1960’s,' Sam went on to work with the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division. He then divided his time between teaching and practicing law. until returning to the Justice Department under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder to serve as the Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights"'

"Throughout his career, Sam has fought in high-profile cases for disabled Americans, voting rights, workers’ rights, and the residents of Flint, Michigan. And now, he is ready to take his work to the next level as a Michigan Supreme Court Justice."

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Samuel Bagenstos
Michigan Association for Justice Endorses Bagenstos, Cavanagh for Michigan Supreme Court

LANSING— Michigan Association for Justice (MAJ) President Brian J. McKeen today announced the endorsement of Samuel Bagenstos and Megan Cavanagh for Michigan Supreme Court. Bagenstos and Cavanagh are each seeking one of two eight-year seats on the ballot this November.

“MAJ is proud to support two extremely well-qualified candidates who will bring balance back to the Michigan Supreme Court,” McKeen said. “For too long, the Court has been heavily tilted in favor of powerful special interests over the interests of regular people and their families. Sam and Megan get it. They have demonstrated throughout their careers a commitment to a fair and open justice system in Michigan that treats everyone equally.”

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Samuel Bagenstos
Samuel Bagenstos Endorsed by #VOTEPROCHOICE

Samuel Bagenstos has received the endorsement of #VOTEPROCHOICE, an organization that mobilizes voters who support access to essential health care services like birth control and safe, legal, and affordable abortion.  In 2017, #VOTEPROCHOICE endorsed 60 candidates, sent out over 3 million #VOTEPROCHOICE Voter Guides, texted with over 200,000 voters to help turn out the prochoice vote in elections from school board to statewide judicial races. Sixty percent of their endorsed candidates were elected.

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Sam Bagenstos
ThinkProgress: "One of America’s top civil rights lawyers launches bid for state supreme court"

"Sam Bagenstos has the kind of credentials that could have made him a very rich man. Harvard Law School. A high-level appointment in the Obama Justice Department. A clerkship for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. An endowed chair at one of America’s elite law schools.

"Instead, he’s spent the bulk of his career litigating civil rights cases.

"Bagenstos tells me he was 'inspired to become a lawyer by the civil rights movement of the 1960s.' He cut his teeth as a lawyer with the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division shortly after the Americans with Disabilities Act became law, and has spent the last several decades becoming one of America’s leading experts on the rights of the disabled. He returned to the Civil Rights Division as its #2 official during the early years of the Obama administration. And he’s now fighting on behalf of the many residents of Flint, Michigan poisoned by inept leaders and lead-laden water."

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Sam Bagenstos
Samuel Bagenstos Announces Run For Michigan Supreme Court

Samuel Bagenstos, a University of Michigan law professor who served as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights under President Barack Obama and Attorney General Eric Holder, today announced that he is running for the Michigan Supreme Court.

"Courts are the last line of defense for our rights, and the Michigan Supreme Court plays a key role in determining our rights as workers, consumers, citizens, and voters," Bagenstos said. "I believe in independent courts that stand up to anyone—no matter how powerful—who violates the law. I have spent my career fighting for civil rights and workers' rights."

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