Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View

Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View

Honorable Stephen Breyer

4.4.2011

Honorable Stephen Breyer

Stephen G. Breyer, Associate Justice, was born in San Francisco, California, August 15, 1938. He married Joanna Hare in 1967, and has three children - Chloe, Nell, and Michael. He received an A.B. from Stanford University, a B.A. from Magdalen College, Oxford, and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School. He served as a law clerk to Justice Arthur Goldberg of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1964 Term, as a Special Assistant to the Assistant U.S. Attorney General for Antitrust, 1965–1967, as an Assistant Special Prosecutor of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, 1973, as Special Counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, 1974–1975, and as Chief Counsel of the committee, 1979–1980. He was an Assistant Professor, Professor of Law, and Lecturer at Harvard Law School, 1967–1994, a Professor at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, 1977–1980, and a Visiting Professor at the College of Law, Sydney, Australia and at the University of Rome. From 1980–1990, he served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as its Chief Judge, 1990–1994. He also served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1990–1994, and of the United States Sentencing Commission, 1985–1989. President Clinton nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat August 3, 1994.

United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer discusses his book "Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View" which examines the role of the Court and its authority in American democracy.

Through examining past cases concerning the Cherokee Indians slavery and Brown v. Board of Education, Breyer captures the steps and the missteps the Supreme Court took to establishing its legitimacy as the guardian of the Constitution. A chapter in the book focuses on the 1957 desegregation crisis at Little Rock Central High School.