George Breyer on the Supreme Court
Breyer, an exemplary technocrat with a flair for compromise and deference to Congress, has been an iconic presence on the Supreme Court. In his new book, he strives to restore public faith in our justice system by encouraging judges and lawyers to interpret our democratic constitution with active engagement.
Early Life and Education
Breyer was born in San Francisco, California to Anne (nee Roberts) and Irving Gerald Breyer. During his high school days at Lowell High School, he participated in the debate team there as well.
He earned his undergraduate degree from Stanford University and master’s in economics from Oxford. Subsequently, he obtained a law degree from Harvard, where he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg.
From 1965 to 1967, Breyer served as a special assistant to the United States attorney general for antitrust. Following that, he became a lecturer at Harvard Law School, where he taught until President Bill Clinton appointed him to the Supreme Court in 1994.
In addition to his work on the court, Breyer is an acclaimed author and public speaker. He has authored numerous books about administrative law, economic regulation and constitutional law. Furthermore, he frequently appears as a guest on television and radio programs.
Breyer began his career as a law professor at Harvard and the Kennedy School of Government, after clerking for Supreme Court Associate Justice Arthur Goldberg and working as an antitrust lawyer for the Justice Department. In 1980 he was appointed to the Court of Appeals for the First Circuit.
The 83-year-old justice, who will retire at the end of this term, has been a pragmatist and moderating influence on a court that has moved rightward during his tenure, with a 6-3 conservative majority.
He has penned landmark decisions that upheld abortion rights and safeguarded an iconic healthcare law, while also challenging the death penalty. Unfortunately, his work hasn’t garnered the same level of support from liberal colleagues such as Ruth Bader Ginsburg or Sonia Sotomayor.
Achievements and Honors
At the conclusion of this year’s Supreme Court term, Breyer will retire and begin teaching seminars at Harvard Law School as well as writing a book about his experiences as both a lawyer and jurist. Through these endeavors, he hopes to help people better appreciate and support the rule of law.
Breyer served on the First Circuit Court of Appeals before his nomination to the Supreme Court was confirmed by President Jimmy Carter in 1980. Despite Republican opposition, his confirmation by the Senate enabled Clinton to replace Justice Harry Blackmun on the bench in 1994.
Throughout his tenure on the court, he served as a moderate and sought to reach consensus whenever possible. Yet his views often reflected his liberal leanings when it came to issues like capital punishment, affirmative action, abortion and gun rights.
Breyer was born in San Francisco, California and earned his law degree from Harvard University. Prior to becoming a professor of law at Harvard, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Arthur Goldberg and worked in the United States Department of Justice’s antitrust division.
He has served on the Supreme Court for 23 years, and is known as a consensus builder who strives to find practical solutions to problems. His majority opinion in many landmark cases included prohibiting states from sentencing juveniles to life without parole and requiring marriages between people of same sexual orientation.
After a career as a conservative on the First Circuit, he was confirmed to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. His friends describe him as an objective legal scholar who strives for consensus while remaining independent.
After serving on the nation’s highest court for 28 years, georg breyer has amassed a net worth of $30 million (per Market Realist), thanks to his career in law and government as well as several supplemental income sources. Additionally, he owns stock in publishing company Pearson PLC that he helped found, along with properties located in New Hampshire and Nevis, Caribbean island.
Justices of the Supreme Court often benefit financially from book deals, teaching gigs and travel expenses in addition to their substantial salaries. Last year alone, associate justices Stephen Breyer and John Roberts each reported minimum net worths of at least $6.15 million each; Chief Justice John Roberts may have been worth more than $5 million according to a Center for Public Integrity analysis of new personal financial disclosures.