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Supreme Court contender Larsen volunteered for Biden's '87 campaign

Melissa Nann Burke
The Detroit News

Michigan federal appeals court Judge Joan Larsen, who is under consideration by President Donald Trump for the U.S. Supreme Court, volunteered for Joe Biden's unsuccessful presidential campaign in 1987 in Iowa, her home state. 

Larsen disclosed her part in the Biden campaign in a questionnaire that she completed for the Senate Judiciary Committee in 2017 when Trump nominated her for a seat on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, where she now serves. 

More:Who is Michigan's Joan Larsen, contender for Supreme Court?

Larsen described her role in the campaign in the summer of 1987 as "minor," saying she recalled doing "low-level volunteer" work such as stuffing envelopes and making phone calls for Biden, then a Delaware senator and now the Democratic presidential nominee running against Trump.

Biden later dropped out of the race for the 1988 Democratic nomination, which was won by Massachusetts Gov. Michael Dukakis. 

Joan Larsen

Larsen also volunteered in 1996 for a Republican presidential candidate, Bob Dole, for whom she edited or drafted "white papers/position papers from facts supplied by the campaign," according to her questionnaire.

Trump indicated Monday the federal judge from Michigan is on his list of five contenders for the high court following the death last week of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Larsen was also among the candidates whom Trump considered to replace Justice Anthony Kennedy.

The Republican president has said he wants to nominate a woman to Ginsburg's seat and told Fox News on Monday that "a great one from Michigan" is among those he's looking at. A source close to the process confirmed that Trump was referring to Larsen.

Larsen, 51, clerked for Justice Antonin Scalia, taught for a decade at the University of Michigan Law School and served for two years on the Michigan Supreme Court. 

Republican Gov. Rick Snyder appointed Larsen to fill a vacancy the state Supreme Court in 2015. She ran for election to her seat the following year as a GOP nominee. 

In 2016, as Trump scored a narrow victory in Michigan, she won 58% of the statewide vote, beating Democratic nominee Deborah Thomas by 28 percentage points and winning all 83 counties in the state. 

mburke@detroitnews.com