Detroit News

Lansing— The Michigan Supreme Court elected Robert Young Jr. today as its new chief justice.

He replaces Justice Marilyn Kelly as the top judge on the seven-member court. Kelly now is one of three Democrats in the court’s minority.

The justices made their selection during a private meeting. No official vote was released, but the court now has four Republicans.

The 59-year-old Young was re-elected in November to an eight-year term. He’s a conservative Republican from the Detroit area who was appointed to the court in 1999 and first elected in 2002.

Among his top priorities will be reducing the number of judgeships statewide and encouraging court consolidation to save money.

“Budget cutting alone will not be enough,” Young said in a release. “There is room for meaningful change and improvement in the third branch of government, even as we do our part to address the state’s budget crisis.” Republican Justice Maura Corrigan is expected to resign soon to lead the Department of Human Services under the new governor, Republican Rick Snyder, who will name her replacement.