Kerene Moore announcement his candidacy for the Michigan Third District Court of Appeals on January 25. She will run in the November 8 general election. Outgoing judge David Sawyer is not standing for another term.
Moore is currently a court attorney at the 22nd Circuit Court in Washtenaw County, where she conducts research for Judge Tracy E. Van den Bergh with opinions in which she does not have expertise, helping inform in-depth opinions for court cases.
Moore grew up in Detroit and attended the University of Michigan for her undergraduate and law degrees. If elected to the bench, Moore said she hopes to support underrepresented communities by making her voice heard as a queer black woman in court.
“We have an underrepresentation of marginalized community members in general on our appeals court, and like it or not, that’s a missing perspective,” Moore said. “My whole career has generally been about poverty, the law, access to justice, ensuring that people can access our justice system… I add this voice. I add this perspective.
Moore said she was inspired by landmark Supreme Court cases that protect the rights of marginalized people, citing an example Brown v. Topeka Board of Educationthe 1954 case ordering an end to racial segregation in schools.
” You learn Brown v. Board of Education (and) Plessy v. Ferguson…and then you become a lawyer, and you really feel like, ‘Oh, my God, we have this unfair, immobile, stagnant system,’ Moore said. “’Am I really going to make a difference?’… At that point, I was like, ‘Oh my God, I see a positive change. I see that if we work hard enough, we can actually change the system. We can improve it, we can adopt it.
Prior to her current position, Moore worked at the Michigan Advocacy Program, which helps underserved clients navigate the court system. She also worked briefly at the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, where she specialized in LGBT law and disability law.
Moore was endorsed by several Washtenaw County officials, including Commissioner Jason Morgan and District Attorney Eli Savit. Morgan and Moore served together on the board of the Jim Toy Community Center. In an interview with The Daily, Morgan said Moore was a strong advocate for inclusivity in Washtenaw County.
“Our goal was to make Washtenaw County a more inclusive and welcoming place for the LGBTQ community and to ensure that it is welcoming to everyone in the LGBTQ community, regardless of background, race or ethnicity. gender identity,” Morgan said. “She’s always been very committed, very passionate about the work and just a very active and engaged board member.”
Savit said he approved Moore because he thinks his wide range of past experience will be beneficial when it comes to the variety of cases before the court.
“Appeals judges are required to hear appeals, dealing with a variety of civil and criminal legal issues,” Savit said. “The diversity of cases and clients she has served is really something that I think will be a boon to our appeal bench here in Michigan, because you get better results when you have someone who is familiar with the evaluation of the body of law on the bench.”
As a member of several minority communities, Moore said she encountered obstacles throughout law school and her time in the justice system.
“I see the barriers and I have to recognize that they are real, that they exist,” Moore said. “People of color have a harder time fundraising. For example, this is a campaign that spans 17 counties. That’s a lot of money to get the word out. So you need to recognize and know your barriers , but you also have to have a game plan.”
Moore plans to use her background as a legal aid lawyer and community advocate to bring equal justice to all those she serves.
“I embrace our justice system and if elected, my commitment to you is that I will not just hold office, I will champion fair access to justice for all,” Moore said in a statement. hurry.
Daily newspaper reporter Matthew Shanbom can be contacted at [email protected].