Paul Hudson is a leading Michigan appellate lawyer, husband and father, accomplished athlete, and homegrown Michigander. He grew up on the ballfields of metro Detroit and is the grandson of legendary Michigan State football coach Duffy Daugherty.
Paul leads the Appeals group at one of Michigan’s oldest and largest law firms, and has argued more than 150 cases in the Michigan appeals courts. This makes him one of the most experienced appellate lawyers ever to run for the Michigan Supreme Court.
Paul got his law degree, with honors, from Georgetown Law, where he served on the law review, and a degree in Government and Philosophy from Cornell University. Before launching his appellate career, Paul clerked for Judge Raymond Kethledge on the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, one of the most widely respected federal judges in the nation.
Athletics are part of Paul’s family DNA. Following in his grandfather’s footsteps, Paul played football, basketball, and baseball in high school, and went on to play catcher in college at Cornell. Paul won the Blue Collar Team Player Award and holds the school’s all-time single-season record for throwing out baserunners.
Treating people with fairness and respect is also part of Paul’s family fabric. Paul’s grandpa won two national championships at Michigan State and was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame. But more important to the family legacy, Duffy Daugherty was a pioneer in integrating college football in the 1950s and ‘60s. This lesson has been ingrained in Paul his whole life: All people should be treated fairly and with humanity.
Paul’s judicial philosophy is simple, and draws on this background. Judges should be fair and neutral umpires, just calling balls and strikes, and should treat everyone who appears before them with dignity and respect.
Paul currently lives in Kalamazoo with his wife, a college professor with a PhD in Aerospace Engineering, and two children. Paul has run three marathons, a dozen half-marathons, two Tough Mudders, and a handful of triathlons. When Paul’s not fighting for clients in the courtroom, he enjoys spending time with his wife and kids and coaching his son’s travel baseball team. He also dedicates his time to pro bono service as a member of his law firm’s Pro Bono Committee and on the board of a prominent area charitable organization.
Paul draws inspiration from his baseball background to help explain his approach and philosophy toward judging. He believes a judge is like an umpire. A good judge doesn’t make up the rules or change them mid-game. A good judge just calls balls and strikes, faithfully applying the rules as written – fairly, consistently, and without favoring one side or the other.
Paul’s balls-and-strikes approach is grounded in his commitment to the Constitution, the rule of law, and respect for the separation of powers. He knows that it is up to the people’s elected representatives to determine policy matters, not the courts. He understands that a vibrant and prosperous Michigan requires a justice system that is impartial, fair, and consistent. As one of Michigan’s most experienced appellate lawyers, he knows firsthand that for our system to work we need judges who make decisions based on the law – not personal opinions or beliefs.
As a Justice, Paul will bring a principled and fresh perspective to Michigan’s highest court. His balls-and-strikes approach, grounded in his passion for the rule of law and commitment to the Constitution, will ensure the rights and freedoms of people all over the state are protected for decades to come.