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Gov. Jennifer Granholm on Monday appointed two new judges to the 28-member Michigan Court of Appeals. Elizabeth L. Gleicher, of Pleasant Ridge, will replace Judge Jessica Cooper, who stepped down to start a private practice. Jane M. Beckering, of Grand Rapids, will replace Judge Janet Neff, who recently was appointed to the U.S. District Court in western Michigan. Gleicher, 52, most recently was an attorney in private practice after four years as owner and partner of a Royal Oak law firm.

She is a member of the Board of Visitors for Wayne State University Law School, where she once served as an adjunct faculty member. Gleicher earned her law degree from Wayne State University and got her bachelor's degree from Carleton College in Minnesota. Her term will expire Jan. 1, 2009.

Beckering, 42, most recently served as an attorney with Buchanan & Beckering, PLLC law firm and as a mediator for the Kent County Circuit Court. She earned her law degree from the University of Wisconsin and received her bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan.

Last year, Beckering ran unsuccessfully as a Democratic nominee in the Michigan Supreme Court election. Her term will expire Jan. 1, 2009.

Granholm, a Democrat, has appointed five judges to the appeals bench since taking office in 2003.

Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Clifford Taylor has said within recent months that four of the 28 appeals judgeships can be cut to save money during the state's budget crisis. But Granholm was unlikely to agree to limit her ability to replace vacancies on the appeals court, which former Republican Gov. John Engler filled with conservative-leaning appointees.


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