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Grand Rapids to celebrate Constitution Day with Justice Thomas Brennan and U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Scoville.

By: Sarah Miller
       Guest Writer, Grand Rapids


Donut Day, Earth Day, Left-handed Day, Constitution Day—the list of what we celebrate could continue for the rest of this page most likely. However, take a look at that last day listed—Constitution Day.  Why is there a Constitution Day? A better question is why a Left-handed Day, and I am even left-handed. But really, why Constitution Day?

Constitution Day is always September 17th, the date the Founding Fathers signed the Constitution. Thirty-nine Founding Fathers, to be exact, signed the Constitution. Fifty-five Founding Fathers attended the Constitutional Convention. Therefore, at minimum, 55 people believed the United States Constitution to be important in 1787. What about now? What does the United States Constitution mean to us? It is old. It is a document containing 4,543 words. Sometimes the age and length of a document establishes its importance. Given these fun facts, you start to see why we consider celebrating our Constitution.

Besides sharing fun facts about the Constitution, why else would you celebrate the Constitution? The history is clear and the document is like a picture of that history. It is a reminder to us. The day is a day to recognize our privilege of living in the United States and witnessing a document that still lives today.

When someone says, “The Constitution” the response is never, “What constitution?” The public knows that such a thing exists and that it is imperative to our country’s existence. In elementary schools, students are developing miniature versions of a constitution that apply to the classroom. In law school, students read about the creation and application of the Constitution. Students also write scholarly articles on trending constitutional topics. A lawyer lives by the Constitution, especially in certain areas of practice. Non-lawyers carry out the essence of the United States Constitution on a day-to-day basis. Every time you speak your mind you are exercising your First Amendment right. The phrase “We the People”—that’s you. So why not celebrate a piece of history that has given ample power and freedom to we the people.

To advise you to celebrate and not give you a way to do so would be unfair. School founder Justice Thomas Brennan and U.S. Magistrate Judge Joe Scoville agreed to discuss the latest constitutional topics.

Chief Justice Brennan served on the Michigan Supreme Court bench from 1969-1970. Two years later he founded Thomas M. Cooley Law School. He then committed himself to the development of Cooley. In 2002, he retired as dean but continues to devote himself to the school. Judge Scoville serves on the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan. Before his work on the bench, he was a partner at Warner, Norcross & Judd. He also served as the president of the Federal Bar Association. Judge Scoville dedicates himself to the continuing education of law students. He served on the Hillman Advocacy Workshop board and ICLE seminars.