Breyer and Gorsuch join forces to promote education about the Constitution | News, Sports, Jobs


FILE – Then-Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer speaks at an event at the Library of Congress for the 2022 Supreme Court Scholars Program hosted by the Law Library of Congress, June 17 February 2022, in Washington. Breyer became the honorary co-chairman of a nonpartisan group dedicated to education about the Constitution. Breyer joins Judge Neil Gorsuch at a time of intense political polarization and growing skepticism about the court’s independence. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, pool, file)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Recently retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has become the honorary co-chair of a nonpartisan group dedicated to education about the Constitution, joining Justice Neil Gorsuch at a time of intense political polarization and of growing skepticism about the independence of the court.

The National Constitution Center in Philadelphia said Thursday that Breyer and Gorsuch, who have served since 2019, will serve as spokespersons for civic education and civility in politics.

The judges’ decision to work together “is particularly meaningful during this polarized time,” said Jeffrey Rosen, president and CEO of the center.

Breyer, 84, retired at the end of June after nearly 28 years as a judge. Her seat was taken by Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, the High Court’s first black woman.

Breyer has been a consistent voice for seeing the court as something other than “politicians in robes,” even as the court handed down a series of conservative rulings, culminating in the elimination of the constitutional right to abortion and the reversal of Roe v. Wade.

In recent months, the court with six Republican-appointed conservatives and three Democratic-appointed liberals has also expanded gun rights, weakened the separation of church and state, and limited administration efforts. Biden to fight climate change and the coronavirus pandemic.

Gorsuch was in the majority of all these cases and Breyer, in dissent.

Challenges to affirmative action in education and major election-related cases highlight the term beginning in October and seem likely to produce sharper divisions along ideological lines.

“Despite strong disagreements on the court, Justices Breyer and Gorsuch, like all of their colleagues, unite around a common belief that good citizenship is necessary for the future of the republic,” Rosen said.

Recent public opinion polls have shown a sharp decline in approval of the Court and its role as an institution above the political fray.

Still, Breyer said last week at an attorneys’ convention in Chicago that he remains optimistic about the US legal system.

In a statement, he said, “The nonpartisan work of the National Constitution Center is essential, and I look forward to working with Justice Gorsuch to promote civil dialogue and debate.

Breyer will also resume teaching at Harvard Law School.

Past presidents at the center have included President Joe Biden, who resigned when he launched his presidential campaign in 2019, and former presidents Bill Clinton and George HW Bush.

The center’s headquarters in Philadelphia is near the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, where the Constitution was written.



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