B.A. Western Michigan University 1982
J.D. Saint Louis University 1986
Danforth Fellow (Law, post-doctoral)
Professor Wagner holds a tenured professorship teaching constitutional law, ethics, and advanced appellate techniques. He is a frequent speaker at world conferences and has published a number of articles, books, and other publications. Professor Wagner has a special interest in the protection of free expression and the free exercise of religious conscience. He served as lead amicus counsel in various matters before the United States Supreme Court, authored a brief filed in the Supreme Court of Sweden, authored written testimony before the United States Congress, and submitted written evidence before the Parliament of the United Kingdom. He has also testified before various state legislative bodies and presented an address at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva.
Prior to joining academia, Professor Wagner served on the Federal Bench as the United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Florida. Before his appointment in the United States Courts, he served as the chief American diplomat for the Department of Justice at the American Embassy in Liberia. There he led a diplomatic mission charged with strengthening democracy and the rule of law.
During his career in public service, he has provided international assistance to the justice sector institutions of numerous countries on five continents. Professor Wagner also served as a senior United States prosecutor, litigating hundreds of federal cases and serving as chief of appellate litigation for the Office of the United States Attorney.
Prior to serving in the Justice Department, Professor Wagner served as legal counsel in the United States Senate and as chief counsel to the Senate Judiciary Committee of the Michigan legislature. As chief counsel, he supervised all legislative issues involving the separation of powers, due process, and other protections of individual rights and liberties, including the right to free expression and the free exercise of religious conscience.
Professor Wagner has served on the adjunct faculty at a number of universities including: The University of Florida, Michigan State University, Saint Leo University, and the University of Liberia. He has also held the following pro bono appointments: American Bar Association, V-Chair, Crime Victims Committee; Federal Bar Association, Board of Directors (NDFL); National District Attorneys Association Federal Working Group on Child Exploitation, member; National Victim Center's Federal Leadership Council, member; Ingham Regional Hospital Ethics Committee, member; Alachua Habitat for Humanity Inc. - Chief Executive Officer & Executive Board of Directors; Hospice of Lansing Inc. – Board of Directors and Chair of the Ethics Committee; CTV – Executive Board of Directors; Student Statesmanship Institute – Board of Advisors.
William Wagner, Islam, Shariah Law, and the American Constitution, ISSUE ANALYSIS, May 2011, http://downloads.frc.org/EF/EF11E24.pdf.
William Wagner, John Kane, and Stephen P. Kallman, Suicide Killing of Human Life as a Human Right: The Continuing Devolution of Assisted Suicide Law in the United Kingdom, 6 Liberty U. L. Rev. 27 (2011).
William Wagner, John S. Kane, and Lauren Prieb, How Suicide Killing of Human Life Became a Human Right in the United Kingdom, CHRISTIAN CONCERN, Oct. 19, 2010, www.christianconcern.com/sites/default/files/docs/Assisted_Killing_Pamphlet.pdf.
William Wagner, EU: Free Speech on the Line, CHRISTIAN NEWS WORLDWIDE, Nov. 2009, http://www.e-n.org.uk/p-4829-EU-free-speech-on-the-line.htm.
Andrew Shirvell and William Wagner, Michigan Law and the Scales of Justice: Life in the Balance, 2007, www.aul.org/docs/statecourts/MI.pdf.
William Wagner, John S. Kane, and Geffrey Gismondi, Physician-Assisted Killing Laws, Constitutional Authority, and the Conscience of a Nation: Two Worldviews, 24 T.M. COOLEY L. REV. 123 (2007).
"William Wagner, Editor, The Cooley Journal of Ethics & Responsibility 1(1) (2006)."
Nelson P. Miller, Steven W. Fitschen, and William Wagner, Federal Courts Enforcing Customary International Law: The Salutary Effect of Sosa v. Alvarez-Machain on the Institutional Legitimacy of the Judiciary, 3 REGENT J. INT’L L. 1 (2005).
William Wagner, The Root of Institutional Integrity, MICH. B.J., June 2003, at 48.
William Wagner, Some Thoughts on Preserving Democratic Institutions and Protecting Children, 5 T.M. COOLEY J. PRAC. & CLINICAL L. 227 (2002).
William R. Wagner, A Christian Perspective on Public Service, FORWARD IN CHRIST, July 1987, http://www.wels.net/news-events/forward-in-christ/july-1987/christian-perspective-public-service.
William R. Wagner, Civil Forfeiture Legislation as a Means of Fighting the Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children, 5 ST. LOUIS U. PUB. L. REV. 495 (1986).
William R. Wagner, Title VII Preferential Racial Relief After Stotts, 4 PUB. L. F. 511 (1985).
William Wagner, Immorally Relative Codes of Conduct & the Value of Christian Virtue in the Practice of Law, http://www.christianlegalfellowship.org/legal_issues/articles
/Immorally Relative Codes of Conduct.pdf.
Books and Chapters in Books
William Wagner, God, Government, and Parental Rights, in VACCINE EPIDEMIC (Louise Kuo Habakus and Mary Holland eds., 2011).
William Wagner, The Jurisprudential Battle Over the Character of a Nation: Understanding the Emerging Threats to Unalienable Liberty in America, in JURISPRUDENCE OF LIBERTY (Suri Ratnapala and Gabriel A. Moens eds., 2nd ed. 2011).
William Wagner, JURISPRUDENTIAL CONSIDERATIONS: THE IMPACT OF WORLDVIEW ON AMERICAN CONSTITUTIONAL LAW (2010).
Wagner, William, "Restoring the Intrinsic Value of Human Life: A Federal Legislative Proposal to Euthanize Physician-Assisted Killing," in THE AMERICAN EXPERIMENT: RELIGIOUS FREEDOM by Margaret Monahan Hogan and Lauretta Conklin Frederking. Portland, OR: University of Portland, Garaventa Center for Catholic Intellectual Life and American Culture (2008).
ANTI-CORRUPTION PROSECUTION MANUAL FOR MIDDLE EASTERN PROSECUTORS (William Wagner ed., 2004).
LIBERIAN LAW REPORTS (William Wagner co-ed., v. 37-40, 2002, 2004).
LIBERIAN LAW REPORTS (William Wagner res. sup., v. 28-36, 2001).
William Wagner, MAKING DEMOCRACY WORK, THE LIBERIAN CONSTITUTION (2000).
William Wagner, Editor, The Cooley Journal of Ethics & Responsibility 1(1) (2006).
William Wagner, Annual Report of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School Center for Ethics & Responsibility (2004) (available at the Lansing campus of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School).
William Wagner, Pathways to Careers in International Law Panel (Oct. 3, 2008) (video recording available at the Lansing, Auburn Hills, and Grand Rapids campuses of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School).
The Fundamental Rights of Free Expression and Free Exercise of Religious Conscience, white paper presented at the United Nations Human Rights Council parallel meeting in Geneva (March 30, 2007)
Fundamental Virtues and Nation Building, Foundations for Functional Democracy in Liberia, white paper presented at the Liberian Studies Association 37th Annual World Conference (April 2, 2005)
William Wagner, Character and Fitness Seminar (Oct. 16, 2002) (video recording available at the Lansing campus of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School).