Supreme Court Justice Profile: Stephen Breyer

As we’re done talking about the life and works of Justice Antonin Scalia, we then move on to another colleague of his, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, an unmatched expert in constitutional law.

His pragmatic approach to the constitution earned him a place among some of the most benevolent judges in the U.S.

Here are some fast facts about Justice Stephen Breyer.

Stephen Breyer

Born: August 15, 1938

Profession: Lawyer, Judge

Alma Mater:

Stanford University, 1959

Magdalen College, Oxford University, 1961

Harvard Law School, 1964


Born in San Francisco, Stephen Breyer was the son of Ann and Irving Breyer. Raised in a middle-class Jewish family, Stephen’s father was legal counsel for the San Francisco Board of Education. Stephen graduated from Lowell High School in 1955 and became a member of its Forensic Society.

After his secondary education, Breyer went to Stanford, where he earned his philosophy degree in 1959. He then went to Oxford’s Magdalen College, attaining his Bachelor of Arts in 1961. After much contemplation, Breyer then entered Harvard Law School where he received his LLB and graduated magna cum laude of his class.

He later landed a job as a clerk to Associate Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg from 1964 to 1965. He also taught at Harvard University as an associate professor from 1967 to 1970. He became involved in the prosecution of the Watergate Scandal in 1973 and from 1974 to 1975, in the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, he served as special counsel.

His judicial career started in 1980 when he sat down as U.S. Court of Appeals First Circuit judge. He was escalated to Chief Judge of the Court from 1990 to 1994.

He was then nominated by President Bill Clinton as Associate Justice for the U.S. Supreme Court, where he was confirmed through a unanimous decision in the U.S. Senate. He took his seat on August 3, 1994 and handled the position since then. Currently, he is the second longest-serving judge of the Supreme Court.

Some Works

William v. Johnson

On extra-legal jury influences.

Harris v. Quinn

Concerning labor management disputes.

McCullen v. Coakley

Regarding the issue of abortion and contraceptive use.


Stephen Breyer, Legal Information Institute

Stephen Breyer Biography,