Today, NHPR and the Music Hall present Writers on a New England Stage with Stephen Breyer, recorded live at the Music Hall in Portsmouth. Breyer was appointed Associate Justice of the Supreme Court by President Clinton in 1994. He is now 78 and author of several books throughout his distinguished career. Some are academic, others displaying his unbridled enthusiasm for the democratic system and belief that it is the court’s job is to make government work for real people living today.
His most recent book The Court and the World makes the case that in an age of global interdependence, America’s government, business, citizenry, and conflict transcend national boundaries. International issues are now more common on court dockets, requiring federal judges to better understand foreign reasoning and laws. “Judicial awareness can no longer stop at the border,” he writes, which is akin to poking at a hornet’s nest of his conservative critics – and fellow justices. Justice Breyer buoyantly stepped out on the stage of the Music hall’s historic theater to argue that American judicial isolationism is no longer possible.