Michigan Supreme Court
Samuel Bagenstos is a University of Michigan law professor and candidate for Michigan Supreme Court. These are nonpartisan races but candidates are nominated to run by each political party. Bagenstos was nominated by the Michigan Democratic Party.
On his campaign website, Bagenstos emphasizes the importance of an independent judiciary. “When individuals or groups are shut out of the democratic process, when their voices aren’t heard because they lack economic or political power, it’s the judiciary that must listen to them and take them seriously. The courts must faithfully implement the laws democratically enacted by the people, and they must stand as a bulwark to protect everyone’s rights.”
Bagenstos specializes in constitutional and civil rights litigation. He has argued four cases before the U.S. Supreme Court, including three cases related to the Americans with Disabilities Act. He represented Flint residents seeking relief for injuries they received in the Flint water crisis, and argued on behalf of worker rights, the LGBT community, and the right to vote.
Bagenstos joined the UM Law School faculty in 2009. At that time he also was appointed by President Barack Obama to the U.S. Department of Justice, serving from 2009-2011 as the principal deputy assistant attorney general for civil rights.
Prior to coming to UM, Bagenstos was a law professor and associate dean for research and faculty development at the Washington University School of Law in St. Louis. He has been on the faculty of Harvard Law School and was a visiting professor at UCLA School of Law.
Early in his career, Bagenstos clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt on the 9th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. He also served as a law clerk for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the U.S. Supreme Court.
He earned his undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina and a law degree from Harvard University.
Bagenstos is married to Margo Schlanger, a UM law professor. They have two teenage children and live in Ann Arbor's Burns Park neighborhood.
Ellen Katz, a UM law professor, is serving as Bagenstos' campaign treasurer.
Samuel Bagenstos: In The News
No surprises at Michigan Democratic Party convention – Michigan Radio, Aug. 27, 2018
Michigan Supreme Court: Candidate Bagenstos comes to Marquette, emphasizes importance of November race – The Marquette Mining Journal, Aug. 9, 2018
Supreme Court candidate visits Houghton – The Daily Mining Gazette, Aug. 7, 2018
Leading High Court Nominees Emerge – Detroit News, April 5, 2018
One of America’s top civil rights lawyers launches bid for state supreme court – ThinkProgress, March 1, 2018
Justice Bagenstos? – Reason Magazine, Feb. 25, 2018
Union fees at risk as justices review Detroit precedent – Detroit News, Feb. 22, 2018
Should voters who don’t vote stay on voter rolls? – The Economist, Jan. 4, 2018
Can Sessions actually run for his old Senate seat? – CNN, Nov. 15, 2017
Commentary: How Congress is hacking away at disability rights – Reuters, Sept. 25, 2017
Supreme Court could decide if Michigan EM law violates Voting Rights Act – MLive, March 31, 2017
What Happens to the Big Supreme Court Cases After Scalia's Death? – NBC News, Feb. 14, 2016
Disability Laws Are Not Enough to Combat Discrimination – New York Times, July 26, 2015
Sam Bagenstos and Margo Schlanger: Enhancing Faculty Strengths – Washington University Law School Magazine, Fall 2004