Law in Popular Culture

Cast of West Wing Reunites to Plug Nonpartisan Voting and Michigan Supreme Court Candidate

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It helps to have friends in the fictional White House.

University of Michigan law school professor Bridget Mary McCormack is running for the Michigan Supreme Court in real life. Her sister, Mary McCormack, played deputy national security adviser Kate Harper in the TV show West Wing. The Huffington Post and the Washington Post blog the Reliable Source have the story.

The judicial candidate told her sister about a common problem in Michigan and 14 other states that use nonpartisan elections to choose Supreme Court justices. People voting a straight party ticket miss the nonpartisan section of the ballot, leaving it blank.

Mary McCormack decided to do something about it, and enlisted several West Wing cast members—including Martin Sheen—to make a video. According to the Reliable Source, “The video is filled with rapid-fire deadpan patter that’s a pitch-perfect parody of all those walking-through-corridors-bantering-about-the-agriculture-bill you remember so fondly from the show.”

West Wingers discuss the nonpartisan, nonvoting problem in the video, and mention a candidate on the supreme court ballot in Michigan—Bridget Mary McCormack, a lawyer with a reputation for fighting for justice.

Bridget Mary McCormack also has a real-life White House connection, the blog says. Her husband, Michigan law professor Steven Croley, is a deputy White House counsel. McCormack’s brother is also in show business, but the law profesor says it’s not for her. “I think I’ll stick to law,” she told the Reliable Source.

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