Celebrating Constitution Day: A conversation with Justice Stephen Breyer

In celebration of Constitution Day, Yale is hosting a conversation with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer from 12:45 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 18 in the Yale Law School’s Levinson Auditorium, 127 Wall St.

Stephen G. Breyer

Breyer will be joined on stage by President Peter Salovey and Margaret Marshall, senior fellow of the Yale Corporation and retired chief justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts.

Tickets are sold out, but standby seats may become available. Although there are no guarantees, those who would like to wait for open seats may do so in a designated line outside the Law School.

The event will also be livestreamed on Yale YouTube.

Breyer was appointed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. He is an expert on administrative law and has participated in conferences on constitutionalism and law worldwide. His judicial philosophy is often characterized as pragmatic, with an emphasis on judicial restraint and a concern for purposes and consequences.

Breyer holds an A.B. in philosophy from Stanford University, a B.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford, and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School. After graduating from law school, he clerked for Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg on the Supreme Court from 1965 to 1967. He went on to become a professor at Harvard Law School and taught administrative law and other subjects until his nomination to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, where he served as its Chief Judge between 1990 and 1994.

Constitution Day (or Citizenship Day) honors the adoption of the U.S. Constitution and salutes those who have become U.S. citizens. It is officially celebrated on Sept. 17, the day the delegates at the U.S. Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia signed the document.

For those who cannot attend the talk

Here are some other ways to celebrate the U.S. Constitution at Yale.

Read the Constitution online.

From the preamble to the 27th amendment, the entire text of the U.S. Constitution is available online through Yale’s Avalon Project.

Watch “Rare Books: The Constitution.”

This video, created in conjunction with Professor Akhil Amar’s “Constitutional Law” class on Coursera, looks at the Constitution-related documents in the Law Library.

Listen to a lecture about the Constitutional Convention.

In a session from her Yale Open Course on “The American Revolution,” Professor Joanne Freeman discusses the debate over the Constitution at the Federal Convention of 1787 — a convention that, she notes, by no means had an inevitable outcome.


Constitution image via Shutterstock.

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