Justice Breyer To Speak on ‘The Court and the World’

Book Explores International Impact on American Law
Justice Stephen G. Breyer

Justice Stephen G. Breyer was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994.

February 21, 2018

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer will speak at the University of Virginia School of Law on March 1 about his most recent book and the ways American judges must take greater stock of foreign events, laws and practices.

The event, to be held at 1 p.m. in the Law School’s Caplin Auditorium, also will be livestreamed via Facebook on UVA Law’s Facebook page.

Seating is first-come, first-served, and WB126 will be available as an overflow room. Backpacks and laptops will not be allowed in the auditorium.

Breyer published “The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities” in 2015. The book examines the work of the Supreme Court in an increasingly interconnected world, in which activities, both public and private — from the conduct of national security policy to the conduct of international trade — compel the court to understand and consider circumstances beyond America’s borders.

“I do not ignore the basic fact that the American people can and must democratically determine their own laws,” he writes in the book. “But listening to those who understand the content of relevant foreign law is perfectly consistent with the democratic formulation and interpretation of our own law.”

In a speech at UVA Law in 2004, Breyer, then the court’s most junior justice for a decade, urged the Law School community to participate in American democracy by being involved in public service.

“I still recall how inspired our students were the last time he spoke at the Law School, and I know they will feel the same way this time,” said Dean Risa Goluboff. “As a former law clerk to the justice, I am especially excited to welcome him back.”

His former law clerks also include professors Rachel Harmon, Dan Ortiz and Farah Peterson.

Breyer is also author of “Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View” (2010), “Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution” (2005) and “Breaking the Vicious Circle: Toward Effective Risk Regulation” (1993).

He served as a law clerk to Justice Arthur Goldberg for the 1964-65 term; special assistant to the assistant U.S. attorney general for antitrust from 1965-67; assistant special prosecutor of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973; special counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee from 1974-75; and chief counsel of the committee, 1979-80.

From 1980-94, Breyer served as a judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as its chief judge starting in 1990. President Bill Clinton nominated him as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat Aug. 3, 1994.

Reporters and other media can contact Director of Media Relations Mike Fox for information.

Founded in 1819, the University of Virginia School of Law is the second-oldest continuously operating law school in the nation. Consistently ranked among the top law schools, Virginia is a world-renowned training ground for distinguished lawyers and public servants, instilling in them a commitment to leadership, integrity and community service.

Media Contact

Mike Fox
Director of Media Relations
mfox@law.virginia.edu / (434) 982-6832

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