Cooley marks Constitution Day with discussions on gerrymandering and the 2nd Amendment


“Gerrymandering, the United States Supreme Court, and Michigan’s Constitutional Amendment,” was the topic of WMU-Cooley Law School’s Auburn Hills campus Constitution Day event. Pictured are (front, l-r) WMU-Cooley students Kathryn Kucyk, Daniell Campbell, Matthew Smith; (back) Professor Gerald Tschura, attorney Mark Brewer of Goodman Acker, P.C., Assistant Dean Lisa Halushka, and Judge Michael Warren of the Oakland County Circuit Court and co-founder of Patriot

On September 17, WMU-Cooley Law School’s Lansing campus held its annual Constitution Day discussion. This years topic explored a person’s right to self-defense under the Second and Fourteenth Amendments and featured views by Adjunct Professor Steve Dulan and Associate Dean Mike McDaniel.

During the discussion, Dulan and McDaniel offered their views on the right to bear arms. The two looked at the Supreme Court’s decision in Heller v. District of Columbia and McDonald v. City of Chicago and analyzed current events, contextually, to explore potential outcomes based on Heller.

“In the decade since the Heller decision, which recognized an individual right to self-defense, there has been a great deal of discussion about the scope and application of that right,” said McDaniel.

While analyzing the second amendment, Dulan, quoted Justice Thomas M. Cooley, ““The meaning of the provision undoubtedly is, that the people, from whom the militia must be taken, shall have the right to keep and bear arms; and they need no permission or regulation of law for the purpose.”

“Like gravity, the Second Amendment isn’t just the law, it’s also a good idea,” said Dulan.

On the Auburn Hills campus, Judge Michael Warren of the Oakland County Circuit Court and co-founder of Patriot, and Attorney Mark Brewer of Goodman Acker, P.C. were panelists during WMU-Cooley Law School’s Constitution Day discussion “Gerrymandering, the United States Supreme Court, and Michigan’s Constitutional Amendment.”

During the presentation, which was sponsored by WMU-Cooley’s chapter of the American Constitution Society, Daniel Campbell, who is president of the campus’ American Constitution Society, introduced the speakers and detailed political and legal issues surrounding voting district gerrymandering.

While Michigan faces changes to how voting districts are created by the use of a Citizen Redistricting Commission, Warren said that the Constitution provides that voting districts are determined by the legislature.

 “Having unelected commissioners draw districts you risk breaking down the representative form of government and taking power away from the people,” said Warren.

Brewer pointed out that elected officials have a conflict if put in charge of drawing voting district lines.

“Allowing the legislature to determine voting districts presents an inherent conflict of interest, as they have demonstrated they will draw the districts to ensure their reelection.”

This year’s event marked the 10th anniversary of both the founding of Patriot and the inaugural event of the Auburn Hills WMU Cooley chapter of the American Constitution Society.