Michigan Supreme Court (Partial Term)

Deborah Thomas

Deborah Thomas 

Deborah Thomas is a judge on the 3rd Circuit Court in Wayne County, a position she's held since first elected in 1994. She is running for the final two years of former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Mary Beth Kelly's term. Kelly was elected in 2010 but resigned in 2015. This partial term runs from Jan. 1, 2017 through Dec. 31, 2018.

Thomas, who ran unsuccessfully in 2004 and 2014 for a seat on the Michigan Supreme Court, was nominated as a candidate this year by the Democratic Party at its state convention on Aug. 27, 2016.

During her tenure on the 3rd Circuit Court, Thomas started a veterans treatment court and began a restorative justice program. She is a founding member of the Black Women’s Lawyers Association of Michigan. 

Prior to her election as judge, Thomas operated a private legal practice. She also served as a Wayne County Probate Court mediator and as Assistant General Counsel for the SE Michigan Transportation Authority. She has worked for the State of Michigan Dept. of Labor, UAW Legal Services Plan, and the Oakland County Legal Aid Society. 

Thomas received a bachelor's degree from Western Michigan University, a master's degree from the University of Detroit, and a law degree from Valparaiso University. She lives in Detroit and has two grown children and three grown stepchildren.

Click here for a description of the Michigan Supreme Court as well as links to other judicial candidate profiles.

Deborah Thomas:  In The News

See the candidates running for two seats on Michigan's Supreme CourtMLive, Oct. 22, 2016

Detroit-area judges challenge 2 justices on top court – Associated Press, Oct. 16, 2016

Is there a pause in the political battle over state Supreme Court? – Michigan Radio, Oct. 6, 2016

Judge Deborah Thomas to facilitate expungement Fair for VeteransMichigan Chronicle, Feb. 24, 2016

Judge to students: Avoid police contactBattle Creek Enquirer, May 8, 2015

Getting diploma, GED part of Wayne judge’s sentencesDetroit News, Dec. 29, 2014

Why Wayne County Judge 'Frames' Ex-OffendersWyandotte Patch, Dec. 30, 2014

Michigan Supreme Court race is friendlier, less costlyDetroit Free Press, Oct. 31, 2014

Interview with Judge Deborah Thomas for Supreme Court: “If the people we’ve helped reach back to help me, we can win this”Eclectablog, Oct. 30, 2014

Meet the candidates for the Michigan Supreme CourtMLive, Oct. 28, 2014

TV Ad Buys in Michigan Supreme Court Races Near $700,000Brennan Center for Justice (New York University School of Law), Sept. 26, 2014

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Deborah Thomas to discuss security issuesAssociated Press, May 12, 2010

Judge Deborah Thomas Speaks at a MECAWI Forum on the Prison Industrial ComplexPan-African News Wire, Aug. 26, 2007