February 15th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Breyer at YLS: Why does the Supreme Court work?

Had he continued following the trajectory of the elder of the Breyer brothers, University President Richard Levin may today be on the Supreme Court.

Levin attended Lowell High School in San Francisco less than a decade after Breyer and his younger brother, Chuck, and Levin said the highest praise he received on his work was that it was the “best since the Breyer brothers.”

Levin introduced Breyer, now an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, to a packed Levinson Auditorium at the Yale Law School Monday afternoon for a lecture titled “History: Challenges the Court Has Faced.” In the lecture, Breyer highlighted several key cases in the Supreme Court’s history in an attempt to answer one commonly-asked question: “why does it work?”

Cases highlighted include Marbury v. Madison, Worcester v. Georgia and Bush v. Gore. In a question-and-answer session that followed the lecture, two students asked for Breyer’s thoughts on the Proposition 8 case (Perry v. Schwarzenegger) that is currently being heard in a U.S. district court in San Francisco. Breyer refused to answer.

“Nobody wants a case to be influenced in any way by what he or she said before,” Breyer explained.

Read more in tomorrow’s News.