Stephen Breyer is a lawyer, jurist, and legal teacher from the USA. He is renowned for serving as an associate justice of the United States Supreme Court since 1994. He was nominated by President Bill Clinton and replaced retiring justice, Harry Blackmun. He is generally associated with the liberal wing of the Court. He held prominent positions before being nominated to the Supreme Court, including special assistant to the United States Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust and assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973. He also served on the First Circuit Court of Appeals from 1980 to 1994. On January 26, 2022, American news outlets reported that he intended to retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the term, with an official announcement as soon as January 28. His party is Democratic party. He has been and continues to be an inspiration for the upcoming generation of lawyers.
US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire
Liberal US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire later this year after nearly three decades on the bench. His decision ensures President Joe Biden will have an opportunity to nominate a successor who could serve for decades. But Justice Breyer’s replacement will not shift the court’s current 6-3 conservative majority. Breyer is expected to retire at the end of the current Supreme Court term in June. Democrats have been pressing Justice Breyer – who, at 83, is the oldest member of the bench – to retire so they can fill the seat with someone younger while they control the White House and Senate. The last Supreme Court vacancy came in 2020, when liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at age 87. Former President Donald Trump was able to appoint his successor, Justice Amy Coney Barrett, less than two months before the US presidential election. According to multiple sources, Justice Breyer was “upset” over the leaked news because he “was not planning to announce his retirement today”.
What is Stephen Breyer Famous For?
- Being an American Lawyer and Jurist.
- For serving as an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States since 1994.
What Nationality is Stephen Breyer?
Stephen Breyer was born with the birth name of Stephen Gerald Breyer on August 15th, 1938. He is from San Francisco, California, the USA. He was born in a Jewish family to his mother, Anne A., and his father, Irving Gerald Breyer. His father was a lawyer who served as legal counsel to the San Francisco Board of Education. He belonged to an upper-middle-class family. His paternal great-grandfather emigrated from Romania to the United States, settling in Cleveland, where Breyer’s grandfather was born. He also has a sibling; a younger brother Charles R. Breyer. He is American by nationality and his ethnicity is American-White. His race is White. He celebrated his 83rd birthday in 2021. His religion is Judaism and his zodiac sign is Leo.
About his education, he attended Lowell High School graduating in 1955. Then, he attended and studied philosophy at Stanford University. He graduated in 1959 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with the highest honors and membership in Phi Beta Kappa. After that, he got the Marshall Scholarship that allowed him to study economics, politics, and physics at Oxford’s Magdalen College. He then returned to the United States to attend Harvard Law School, where he was a member of the Harvard Law Review and graduated in 1964 with a Bachelor of Laws degree magna cum laude. During his term, he was inducted into the Harvard Law Review group. He spent 8 years in the United States Army Reserve including 6 months on active duty in the Army Strategic Intelligence. He reached the rank of corporal and was honorably discharged in 1965.
Stephen Breyer Career Timeline
- Stephen Breyer’s law career began after serving as a law clerk to associate justice Arthur Goldberg of the US Supreme Court from 1964 to 1965 and served briefly as a fact-checker for the Warren Commission.
- For two years he served in the US Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division as a special assistant to his Assistant Attorney General.
- He was a full-time lecturer at Harvard Law School from the year 1967 up until 1994. During that time, he wrote two highly influential books on deregulation: Breaking the Vicious Circle: Toward Effective Risk Regulation and Regulation and Its Reform.
- Among Breyer’s literary works, the one which created much stir in the field of law was his skeptical views on copyright in the 1970s book The Uneasy Case for Copyright.
- He also served as an assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973. Also, he was a special counsel to the US Senate Committee on the Judiciary from 1974 to 1975 and served as chief counsel of the committee from 1979 to 1980 working on not only federal criminal code cases but airline and trucking deregulation as well.
- In 1980, he was appointed by President Carter to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. After this, he was upgraded to the position of Chief Justice in 1990, succeeding Levin Campbell.
- Then, he served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States between 1990 and 1994 and the United States Sentencing Commission between 1985 and 1989.
- In the year 1993, President Bill Clinton considered him for the seat vacated by Byron White before ultimately appointing Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Clinton then nominated him as an associate justice of the Supreme Court on May 17, 1994.
- His book, Active Liberty (2005), is one of his major contributions to the judicial system.
- In 2010, he published a second book, Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View.
- Later, it was in 2015, he broke a federal law that bans judges from hearing cases when they or their spouses or minor children have a financial interest in a company involved. His wife sold about $33,000 worth of stock in Johnson Controls a day after her husband had already participated in the oral argument.
- In 2015, he released a third book, The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities, examining the interplay between US and international law and how the realities of a globalized world need to be considered in US cases.
- Following Democratic victories in the 2020 presidential and senate elections, progressive activists and Democratic members of Congress called upon Breyer to resign so that President Joe Biden could nominate a younger and liberal justice.
- In an August 2021 New York Times interview, Breyer indicated that he wished to retire before his death, and recounted a conversation he had with Justice Antonin Scalia in which Scalia mentioned that he did not want his successor to “reverse everything I’ve done for the last 25 years”.
- In a September 2021 interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace, Breyer said activists calling for his resignation are “entitled to their opinion” and “I didn’t retire because I had decided on balance I wouldn’t retire”.
- He said he takes several factors into account when deciding his retirement plans, and reiterated that he does not plan to “die on the court”.
- On 26th January 2022, news outlets reported Breyer’s intention to retire from the court at the end of the 2021–2022 term.
- Further, he has appeared as a guest on Stephen Colbert’s TV show. On the Late Show in September 2021, he discussed the Texas Heartbeat Act and his reluctance to retire.
- He also appeared on Fareed Zakaria GPS in September 2021.
Awards, Honors, and Achievements
- Elected to the American Philosophical Society in 2004
- Honored with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award by the Boy Scouts of America in 2007
- Named to the chair of the Pritzker Architecture Prize jury, succeeding the previous chair Glenn Murcutt in 2018
Stephen Breyer Books
- “The Federal Sentencing Guidelines and Key Compromises on Which They Rest”
- Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution. New York: Vintage Books
- Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View. New York: AA button
- The Court and the World: American Law and the New Global Realities. New York: Penguin Random House
- The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press
Who is Stephen Breyer married to?
Stephen Breyer is a married man. He tied a knot to his beautiful wife, Joanna in 1967. Their wedding was held at a village church in Suffolk, England. By profession, Joanna is a psychologist and member of the British aristocracy, as well as the younger daughter of John Hare, 1st Viscount Blakenham. They have three adult children: Chloe, an Episcopal priest; Nell; and Michael. His sexual orientation is straight. Today, the duo is enjoying their life happily.
How much is Stephen Breyer Net Worth?
Stephen Breyer is one of the richest Supreme Court justices. His net worth is estimated to have around $30 million in 2022. He is one of the wealthiest Supreme Court justices, with a net worth of $6 million in 2016 and $16 million in 2017. His main source of wealth is from his law career and as a lawyer His career earnings and annual salary is still to be revealed yet.
How tall is Stephen Breyer?
Stephen Breyer is a handsome man with a slim body type. He has a perfect height matching his body weight. He is partially bald and his hair color is salt and pepper. He has a pair of light brown eyes. his other body size is still to get disclosed yet. Overall, he has got a healthy body.