Center for Judicial Engagement’s Forum on the Michigan Constitution

On Friday, May 20, 2022 the Center for Judicial Engagement joined with several lawyers, academics, and a retired state supreme court justice discuss the Michigan Constitution and how the state’s courts should interpret and enforce it. CJE Director Anthony Sanders led things off with a discussion of state constitutions and judicial engagement. He was followed by a panel, moderated by IJ’s Jaimie Cavanaugh, discussing litigating under the Michigan Constitution, and featured Michigan attorneys Deborah LaBelle, Amy Murphy, and Patrick Wright. Then, IJ’s Patrick Jaicomo led an exploration of interpreting the Michigan Constitution with former Justice Steven Markman and University of Toledo College of Law Professor Evan Zoldan.

pictures from the event

Patrick Wright’s Panel
IJ Staff

videos from the event

Intro to State Constitutions

Anthony Sanders, Director of the Center for Judicial Engagement, opened the event with an explanation of what judicial engagement is and how state constitutions can protect individual liberties when state judges engage with them.

Litigating Under the Michigan Constitution

Jaimie Cavanaugh of the Institute for Justice moderated a panel of Michigan litigators discussing various ways the Michigan Constitution has been interpreted to protect and extend freedoms. With civil rights attorney Deborah LaBelle, Amy Murphy of Miller Johnson, and Patrick Wright of the Mackinac Center.

Interpreting the Michigan Constitution

Patrick Jaicomo of the Institute for Justice moderated a panel exploring theories of interpretation of the Michigan Constitution. With retired Justice Stephen Markman of the Michigan Supreme Court and Professor Evan Zoldan of the University of Toledo College of Law.

Special Guests

Amy Murphy
Miller Johnson
Patrick J. Wright
Mackinac Center for Public Policy
Deborah A. Labelle
Honorable Justice Stephen J. Markman
Michigan Supreme Court (ret.)
Professor Evan Zoldan
The University of Toledo College of Law
Patrick Jaicomo
Institute for Justice
Jaimie Cavanaugh
Institute for Justice
Anthony Sanders
Institute for Justice