SERIES: Judicial Issues Forum | No. 26 of 29 « Previous | Next »

Nov 10

Past Event

Making Our Democracy Work

Event Materials



  • Dred Scott Decision

    Justice Stephen Breyer: The Dred Scott decision was likely the worst decision handed down by the court, and raises the notion that some cases are decided politically rather than judicially.

  • Supreme Court Exists to Clarify

    Justice Stephen Breyer: Words, laws, regulations, lower court decisions and even the Constitution require clarification. The Supreme Court exists to provide that clarification for the good of the people.

  • Democracy at the Heart of Constitution

    Justice Stephen Breyer: Democracy is at the heart of the Constitution, which gives the American people the power to determine who will help protect their individual rights and freedoms.

Full Event


Brookings Multimedia content requires JavaScript. Your browser either doesn't have JavaScript or doesn't have it enabled.

Instructions to enable JavaScript.


U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s new book, Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View, (Knopf, 2010) aims to elevate the public’s understanding of the U.S. Supreme Court, particularly the societal impact of its most important and historic decisions, its role in the evolution of our democracy and its contribution to what the Justice terms a “workable constitutional system of government.”

On November 10, the Brookings Judicial Issues Forum hosted a discussion with Justice Breyer about the history of the Supreme Court and its efforts to apply constitutional values to current issues. Prior to his appointment to the nation’s highest court in 1994, Justice Breyer taught at Harvard University’s Law School and Kennedy School of Government. He also served as a judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit and as its Chief Judge for four years.

Brookings President Strobe Talbott provided introductory remarks. Senior Fellow Benjamin Wittes led a discussion with Justice Breyer.

Event Agenda


November 10, 2010

3:00 PM - 4:30 PM EST

The Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications

(202) 797-6105

SERIES: Judicial Issues Forum | No. 26