Supreme Court Justice to visit NMU

Supreme Court Justice to visit NMU

Jackie Jahfetson

Coming all the way from the Michigan Supreme Court, Justice Richard Bernstein will share his insight of dealing with blindness and overcoming his disability to attend law school and working his way up to the highest court of the land.

Bernstein will speak today from 4 to 5:30 p.m. in 2906 West Science, explaining the importance of the Supreme Court and how those decisions affect college students. Bernstein will also give tips and advice for those entering the workforce.

Professor Robert Anderson who teaches political law classes said he met Bernstein last November during a luncheon at the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys in Chicago and said he was struck by Bernstein’s speech and story. Anderson said he knew NMU would benefit from hearing from this unique individual.

“He has an amazing and inspiring story, but the thing that struck me most is his sense of humanity,” Anderson said.

During a phone interview, Bernstein said he enjoys coming up to the U.P. two to three times a year and said it’s important elected officials visit the other part of Michigan and not just focus solely on the Lower Peninsula.

“Whenever I come to the U.P., there’s something about it when you get off the airplane. It’s just like a feeling, everything is fresher and purer and as a blind person you can pick up on all the other senses. There’s something about the air that has a pureness to it. It has an exhilarating feeling,” Bernstein said.

Working 15 hour long days, Bernstein said his work is tiring and exhaustive, but he finds way to destress such as running marathons, including the many he’s ran.

“It’s not about always being happy, I have a lot of really hard days and bad days. There are days I can assure that I am not at all happy. But what it comes down to, I can tell you what I believe is that in life…anything athletic, I use it to deal with life and cope with lifetime disability of blindness,” Bernstein said.

Bernstein will continue with his U.P. tour, stopping in Escanaba and Houghton.