Justice Stephen Breyer’s Discussion on Making Democracy Work


I’ve been watching a video, on the Forum Network, of Justice Stephen Breyer discussing his views of on how democracy works. In the first 20 minutes (it’s an hour plus) he has pointed out things that in all honesty I hadn’t considered, one being that the Supreme Court will hold up, and reject laws that are both good and bad. Justice Breyer is very candid in stating that the Justice’s are fallible people and will make mistakes, much like the rest of us. He does inject some humor concerning Congress, and I have to give him credit for that.

Justice Breyer states that Justices are junior varsity politicians and as such, are terrible politicians. That is a refreshing line of thinking coming from a sitting supreme court judge. He also talks about ‘originalism’; the view some have taken regarding what the original writers of the constitution meant. One thing that Justice Breyer speaks about is how we take values, that are permanent, and in the constitution, and try to apply them to circumstances that do.

I think that regardless of your political leanings, this discussion sheds some light on how the Supreme Court works and why. You might not agree with everything he says, but Justice Breyer is very candid about the court, about the constitution and what it was meant to be and how it is to be used, and just the general workings of the democratic process.

The link below will take you to the video. Listen with an open mind then make your own decision. I look forward to any comments.

http://forum-network.org/lecture/justice-stephen-breyer-making-our-democracy-work

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