The Coming Constitutional Debate

Stephen Markman
Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court

Stephen MarkmanStephen Markman was appointed Justice of the Michigan Supreme Court in 1999, and was re-elected in 2000 and 2004. Previously, he served as United States Attorney in Michigan; as Assistant Attorney General under President Ronald Reagan, where he coordinated the federal judicial selection process; and as Chief Counsel of the Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution. He has published in such journals as the Stanford Law Review and the University of Chicago Law Review, and has been a distinguished professor of constitutional law at Hillsdale College since 1993.

The following is adapted from a speech delivered in Washington, D.C., on February 25, 2010, at an event sponsored by Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship.

It is with the intention of generating debate, and of providing a roadmap to help us better navigate the constitutional forks-in-the-road that will soon be facing our nation, that I offer these thoughts. While there has never been a time in our history in which there was not serious constitutional debate among our people, I would submit that there have been few times in which this debate was more fundamental in defining the American experiment.