Civil rights attorney Richard Bernstein won one of two vacant seats on the Michigan Supreme Court in Tuesday’s (November 4) election. Bernstein has been legally blind since birth and is well known in the local community for his championing of the disabled as well as being the son of attorney Samuel Bernstein of the Law Offices of Sam Bernstein.
Although the position is technically nonpartisan, Bernstein, a Democratic nominee, will be installed with the other winner of Tuesday’s election, incumbent Justice Brian Zahra, a Republican nominee. Out of a slate of five candidates, Bernstein garnered 29% of the vote to Zahra’s 32%, making them the two highest vote getters, and therefore the election winners.
Bernstein, age 40, has never been a judge before. However, his continual efforts on behalf of persons with disabilities are both noteworthy and commendable.
He successfully represented disabled Detroit residents in 2004 in an action against the City of Detroit to fix wheelchair lifts on buses as required by federal law so all riders could have fair access to public transportation.
He successfully represented the Paralyzed Veterans of America in 2007 in an action against the University of Michigan for failing to include adequate accommodations for spectators with disabilities when planning renovations for the stadium. The suit resulted in increased seating for people with disabilities and their companions and enhanced accessible parking, restrooms and concessions.
He also won a suit filed against Northwest Airlines and the Wayne County Airport Authority on behalf of five disabled passengers to ensure the Airport Authority could make significant modifications to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act laws.
For his advocacy on behalf of the disabled, the Law Offices of Gregory Roth, PC congratulates Richard Bernstein as our next Michigan Supreme Court Justice. GJR