Former Supreme Court Judge Stephen Breyer Remains An Optimist

Stephen Breyer

Stephen Breyer kept away from any controversial statement at a recent even as the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade. The retired Supreme Court justice instead dwelled largely on the rule of law, maintaining that despite the setbacks he remained optimistic.

Stephen Breyer said that America has always adjusted over time, despite the drawbacks and the movement at times in the wrong direction.

But Breyer avoided discussion on the successive setbacks for liberals on issues such as gun rights, abortion, religious liberty, and the environment. A Supreme Court packed with Republican Judges has ensured that every decision has gone the GOP way.

Stephen Breyer Remains Convinced That Rule Of Law Will Ultimately Prevail

Attending a conference in Chicago hosted by the American Bar Association, Stephen Breyer stuck to his previous speeches and said that the efforts of lawyers and the ABA remained vital.

He said that despite contrary opinions, judges always need the support of outsiders. He dwelled on a tale about assurances that he gave to a visiting foreign judge about rule of law. He referred to the Bush v. Gore case when there was peace on the streets despite a controversial decision.

Stephen Breyer said that law prevails when people accept decisions that go against them. He stayed away from speaking about recent rulings including the controversion Roe v. Wade ruling and stopped from referring to particular events particularly the Capitol riots instigated by then President Trump.

Stephen Breyer said that it has not always been perfect with the long period of slavery, the Civil War, and the Jim Crow era racial segregation, but generally, things have moved for the better as people keep trying.

Stephen Breyer talked about his habit of writing opinions, having written many opinions during his time as a Supreme Court justice. He joked that despite writing 525 opinions, the world continued to be in a complete mess, to the laughter of the audience.

Justice Breyer retired in June after serving for 28 years and was replaced by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.