Megan Cavanagh

If you care about redistricting for the US House, you care about Michigan's Supreme Court

Megan Cavanagh

Michigan Supreme Court

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2018 Result: Cavanagh elected to Supreme Court with second-most votes among candidates

The Michigan State Supreme Court has done a lot of damage to hard-working Michigan residents, from making it easier to leave a union to making it harder to sue a business for damages when you’ve been harmed. The "nonpartisan" court has been a lapdog for Republicans with a 5-2 majority. It has direct oversight over redistricting (setting the standards and even drawing the maps at times) and can even decide which citizen initiatives will make it onto the ballot -- including an anti-gerrymandering measure that received more than double the required number of petition signatures in 2018. 

Megan Cavanagh is a lifelong Michigander with a long history working on legal issues with the State Bar of Michigan on key issues such as fair and equal access to the court. Her father, Michael Cavanagh, was a member of the State Supreme Court from 1983-2014. Megan Cavanagh is currently a shareholder at Garan Lucow Miller P.C. in Detroit. She holds an undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and a JD from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Cavanagh is running for one of two seats currently held by incumbents Kurtis Wilder and Elizabeth Clement, both of whom were appointed by Republican Governor Rick Snyder to help uphold a right-wing agenda on the courts.  

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Campaign Finance

Candidate Name

Megan Cavanagh (no Party on ballot)

Incumbents

Campaign Spending

Total rasied: $206K; Cash on hand: $155K (as of 9/15)

Wilder: Total raised: $231K; Cash on hand: $231K; Clement: Total rasied: $331K; Cash on hand: $247K (as of 9/14)

Outside Spending

None reported

None reported

Polling Results

Election Results

Statewide (Supreme Court)

2016: R+44/R+29

2014: R+33/R+12/D+1

2012: R+9/R+2/D+2

Presidential

2016: R+0.13

2012: D+9.5

2008: D+16.47

State

Profile

Michigan’s overall population is slowly recovering after a decade of sizable losses. These population shifts have changed the political landscape in the state, particularly in traditionally-Democratic areas like Detroit (which has lost 29% of its population since 2010). The number of African-American voters has been on the decline for the last 14 years, and white working class voters now account for 45% of Michigan’s electorate.

Thanks to gerrymandering, Michigan’s state government has been under one-party Republican control for the entire decade. In 2016, Democrats in legislative races received 18,000 more total votes than Republicans but were unable to change majority control in either chamber. The State Supreme Court can ultimately decide on the makeup of boundaries in the next round of redistricting; Democrats can gain majority control of the State Supreme Court with victories in 2018 and 2020, just in time for the next redistricting process.

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