Mich. Supreme Court chief justice suffers heart trouble

Michael Gerstein
The Detroit News

Lansing — Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Stephen Markman is facing undisclosed heart complications but should be back to work shortly, according to his family.

Markman, who was chosen in January 2017 to lead the state’s highest court, faced an unspecified heart complication that at first appeared to be a heart attack. Doctors later confirmed that it wasn’t, but his family did not disclose the exact nature of the heart problem, according to a statement released Tuesday from Markman’s son, Jim Markman.

He fell ill shortly after a Jan. 21 commencement ceremony at Cooley Law School in Lansing.

“Fortunately, after an exhaustive workup and evaluation he was found not to have suffered a heart attack,” Jim Markman said. “At this time it appears he will have no long term consequences and he will recuperate fully after a brief hiatus. For this, we are immensely grateful.

“As might be expected, he regrets missing the State of the State address as well his other obligations this week, but we have confidence he will be back up to speed in no time.”

The statement did not specify when the chief justice will be back to work. Markman is likely to miss Tuesday night’s State of the State speech by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Before Markman was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1999, he was a state appeals court judge from 1995 to 1999 and worked as a lawyer at Miller, Canfield, Paddock & Stone in Detroit.

He was nominated to be a federal prosecutor by George H. W. Bush in 1989 and served as U.S. attorney until 1993. Before that, he was U.S. assistant attorney general under former President Ronald Reagan’s administration.

Markman said after he was appointed chief justice a year ago that his rule of law philosophy is “to ensure that our system of justice is made readily and fairly available to all of the people of our state.”