3rd District Court of Appeals Judge

Joel P. Hoekstra

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Joel P. Hoekstra 

Joel Hoekstra, an incumbent running for re-election, was first elected to the Michigan Court of Appeals in 1994. Although the position is nonpartisan, he is identified in news reports as a Republican.

In 2007, Hoekstra was part of the three-judge panel that unanimously ruled that providing health benefits to same-sex partners of public sector employees violates the Michigan Constitution. The decision struck down an earlier ruling by an Ingham County court judge in a case brought by National Pride at Work Inc. against the city of Kalamazoo. The appeals court ruled "such arrangements violate a constitutional amendment that state voters approved in 2004 that bars public employers from recognizing same-sex unions for any purpose." That ruling was later overturned.

Earlier in his career Hoekstra worked as an assistant Kent County prosecuting attorney, as a Kent County district court judge, and as an adjunct faculty member of Calvin College. Hoekstra received his bachelor's degree from Calvin College and his law degree from Valparaiso University. In campaign finance documents he is listed as a resident of Kent County.

Click here for a description of the 3rd District Court of Appeals as well as links to other judicial candidate profiles.

Joel P. Hoekstra:  In The News

Court reverses ‘Incredible’ veterinarian discipline – Oakland Press, June 27, 2016

Judge’s lawsuit heads back to Mich. Court of Claims – Detroit News, June 24, 2016

Michigan Court: No Same-Sex Benefits – Washington Post, Feb. 7, 2007