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Michigan Supreme Court justice retiring after 21 years calls service a blessing

Associated Press

Lansing – Stephen Markman has heard his last round of cases after 21 years as a justice on the Michigan Supreme Court.

Markman, 71, is retiring but can still participate in opinions and orders through December.

Before the court heard five cases Thursday, Chief Justice Bridget McCormack recognized Markman’s tenure as a judge at the Supreme Court and the Michigan appeals court as well as U.S. attorney in Detroit and deputy attorney general in Washington.

Michigan Supreme Court Justice Stephen Markman

“I know very few people who have had such a long and committed career to public service as Justice Markman,” McCormack said.

Markman said it’s “been a blessing” to serve on the Supreme Court.

He was appointed in 1999 by Republican Gov. John Engler and subsequently elected and reelected. For years, he was part of a powerful conservative majority that said appellate courts should interpret the law, not make it.

In October, Markman wrote the 4-3 opinion that struck down Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s executive orders related to the coronavirus. The court said Whitmer was drawing power from a law that was unconstitutional. Many orders have been reinstated under different laws.