The Constitution Is Focus of Talk by Supreme Court Justice
Yale will be the site of a very rare occurrence — a lecture by a sitting member of the U.S. Supreme Court — when Associate Justice Stephen Breyer takes the podium on Monday, Feb. 15, in the Law School’s Levinson Auditorium, 127 Wall St.
Breyer’s talk, “Making the Constitution Work: A Supreme Court Justice’s View,” is open only to members of the Yale community. The doors will open at 4 p.m., and the lecture will begin at 4:30 p.m. A Yale ID is required for admission.
“Justice Breyer will address the Supreme Court’s role in helping to make the American Constitution work well in practice,” says Paul Gewirtz, the Potter Stewart Professor of Constitutional Law and director of the China Law Center.
“He will discuss key moments in the Supreme Court’s history that illustrate the importance of public acceptance of its decisions, and also challenges the court has faced throughout its history in achieving this public acceptance,” says Gewirtz. “Justice Breyer will also discuss what the Supreme Court must do in the future to make the Constitution work well in practice and to maintain the public trust that the court has earned.”
Breyer taught law for many years as a professor at Harvard Law School and at the Kennedy School of Government. He has also worked as a Supreme Court law clerk (for Justice Arthur Goldberg), a Justice Department lawyer (antitrust division), an assistant Watergate special prosecutor and chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee. In 1980 he was appointed by President Carter to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, becoming chief judge in 1990. In 1994 he was appointed by President Clinton as a Supreme Court justice. He has written books and articles about administrative law and economic regulation. His most recent book is “Active Liberty,” about the Constitution.