Supreme Court Justice Tim Armstead is the keynote speaker at a Constitution Day program in the Supreme Court Courtroom on the 232nd anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution. September 17, 2019. (J. Alex Wlison) | J. Alex Wlison
CHARLESTON — West Virginia Supreme Court Justice Tim Armstead was the keynote speaker at an event to celebrate Constitution Day.
Armstead spoke Sept. 17 about the history of the Articles of Confederation, the U.S. Constitution and Constitutional Amendments during the event that was held in the Supreme Court courtroom.
Supreme Court Justice Evan Jenkins, House Speaker Roger Hanshaw and employees of the Capitol Complex, as well as homeschooled students and their parents, attended the event.
"One of our jobs in this room is to uphold the Constitution," Armstead said during the event.
Armstead has a unique perspective because he has been a leader in two of the three branches of government in which the Constitution established.
"If you really respect our Constitution and our government, you respect the different roles," Armstead said. "I’ve enjoyed it and I feel honored to be a member of this court."
Armstead was previously speaker of the West Virginia House of Delegates from 2015 until 2018. He was a member of the House of Delegates beginning in 1998.
As House speaker, Armstead was free to talk about his opinions on issues and make laws, but as a Supreme Court justice, Armstead cannot talk about issues that might come before the court.
"Our challenge is not to make law but to take the laws adopted by the Legislature and Congress and make sure they are Constitutional," Armstead said.
Justice Armstead’s presentation was followed by a showing of the video "Just the Facts: The United States Constitution."
The U.S. Constitution was approved 232 years ago, on Sept. 17, 1787. In 2004, Congress established Constitution Day with the passage of an amendment to the Omnibus spending bill of 2004 offered by West Virginia Senator Robert C. Byrd.
"All of us as Americans should feel very fortunate to live in a country that has a Constitution like ours," Armstead said.