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March 23, 2023

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Governor Whitmer Makes Appointment to the Bench


LANSING, Mich. — Today, Governor Gretchen Whitmer announced the appointment of Clay West to the 17th Circuit Court – Kent County.


“Clay is a dedicated public servant who will bring extensive legal expertise to the Kent County court,” said Governor Whitmer. “I am proud to appoint him to the bench, and I know that he will uphold the law and admirably serve his fellow Michiganders, just as he has in uniform and as a federal prosecutor.”


17th Circuit Court – Kent County 

Clay M. West is an Assistant United States Attorney with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Michigan. He is also a Lieutenant Colonel in the United States Army Reserve, now serving as a Military Judge with the U.S. Army Trial Judiciary, 4th Judicial Circuit. Previously, West clerked for judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit and the California Supreme Court and worked as a federal prosecutor at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois.


West deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan with the United States Army in support of ongoing combat operations in those countries. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Combat Action Badge in Iraq and the Non-Article 5 NATO Medal – International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Harvard College, a Master of Philosophy from Cambridge University, and Juris Doctor from Yale Law School.  West lives in Cascade Township with his wife Laura and son Zachary.


“I am humbled and grateful to Governor Whitmer for the opportunity to lift others in Kent County through judicial service on the 17th Circuit Court,” said Clay West. “I pledge to pursue justice, protect the rule of law, and promote civility in the courtroom.”


This appointment was made to fill a partial term following the election of Judge Kathleen Feeney to the 3rd District Court of Appeals. Mr. West’s term will commence on April 17, 2023 and expire at twelve o’clock noon on January 1, 2025. If Mr. West wishes to serve the remainder of Judge Feeney’s term, expiring January 1, 2027, he would be required to run for reelection in November of 2024.


Judicial appointments are not subject to the advice and consent of the Senate.


Clay West