Republican who attended a ‘Stop the Steal’ rally launches bid for Michigan Supreme Court

Michigan Stop the Steal protest

Michigan Republican state Rep. Andrew Fink, an election denier who attended a “Stop the Steal” rally at the Michigan state Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, announced on Monday that he’s running for a spot on the Michigan Supreme Court.

“Our courts play a pivotal role in preserving public safety,” Fink said in a statement announcing his candidacy. “As a justice, one of my priorities will be to restore faith in government institutions by emphasizing transparency, accountability, and integrity in our state court system.”

Fink is one of hundreds of supporters of former President Donald Trump who gathered at the state Capitol to protest the certification of President Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.

“All citizens have the constitutional right to petition the government for the redress of grievances, and these citizens have the right to know that all our elections are free and fair,” Fink wrote in a Facebook post that included a photo of the Michigan Capitol. “Governor [Gretchen] Whitmer and Secretary [of State Jocelyn] Benson, these are your constituents, too. Will you commit to helping make sure Michigan elections are beyond reproach? Because that’s our job.”

Many of the people gathered at the Capitol were armed.

The Michigan protesters streamed Trump’s remarks at a simultaneous rally on the Ellipse south of the White House, where he encouraged the crowd to walk down to the U.S. Capitol to get Congress to stop the certification of Biden’s win. After that speech, thousands of demonstrators stormed the Capitol building, where they assaulted law enforcement officers and defaced the building. More than 140 police officers were injured while responding to the riot, and five died following the attack.

Fink was first elected to the Michigan House of Representatives in 2020.

During the campaign, he railed against Whitmer’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts.

“When this thing came about, immediately I started getting questions as an attorney that practices constitutional law, of what portions of this are constitutional and what portions of it isn’t, and by April I had put together a legal team to sue the governor for violating the due process and equal protection rights of one of my clients,” Fink said during a primary debate in 2020, according to the Hillsdale Daily News. “At this point we have a governor who says she can declare an emergency for any reason — it could be that it’s too sunny or too cloudy — that lasts for as long as she says it lasts, and that allows her to impact your rights under every other statute in the state code.”

According to a biography posted on the Michigan Legislature’s website, Fink is a member of the National Rifle Association as well as the Federalist Society, a group of right-wing lawyers that has helped overturn abortion rights, gun safety laws, and environmental regulations by getting its members appointed to courts across the country.

Fink also worked as a district director for former Michigan state Senate Majority Leader Mike Shirkey, who falsely claimed that the attack on the U.S. Capitol was staged.

Control of the Michigan Supreme Court is up for grabs in 2024 when two of the seven seats on the state’s highest court will be on the ballot. One of the seats is held by a Democratic appointee, Kyra Harris Bolden. The other is held by David Viviano, who was appointed by Republican former Gov. Rick Snyder in 2013 before being elected to a full term on the court.

Democrats won a 4-3 majority on the court in 2020.

Bolden, who was appointed to the court in 2022 by Whitmer, will have to run and win to serve the remainder of her predecessor’s term, which ends in 2028. Viviano is also up for reelection in 2024.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.