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Retired Justice Stephen Breyer spoke with CNN regarding the recent abortion-related case in front of the Supreme Court, following the overturning of Roe v. Wade. Breyer criticized the conservative majority for believing that the Dobbs decision in 2022 would end future challenges to abortion access. He noted that the justices will need to continuously address the issue of abortion as more cases arise. Breyer mentioned the arguments made in front of the justices to limit access to mifepristone, a key drug used in medication abortions, as an example of the ongoing debate.

Despite retiring from the Supreme Court two years earlier, Breyer released a new book called “Reading the Constitution” discussing his approach to the law. He contrasted his approach to constitutional law with the conservative majority’s reliance on “originalism.” Breyer highlighted the abortion decision as an example of how his conservative counterparts’ legal theories may fall short. The Supreme Court is facing various critical and politically charged cases on gun rights, reproductive health access, and the immunity of a former president from criminal prosecution, leading Breyer to express concerns about the public’s trust in the court’s integrity.

Breyer emphasized the importance of public opinion in upholding the rule of law and urged Americans to trust the institution and adhere to court decisions even if they disagree. He noted that public opinion plays a significant role in shaping adherence to legal regulations and ensuring the rule of law is upheld. Breyer reflected on his time as a justice, emphasizing the responsibility that comes with the role and how it requires individuals to follow the law, even in cases where they may personally disagree with the outcome. He stressed that the well-being of the rule of law is dependent on individuals’ willingness to abide by legal decisions.

Appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1994, Breyer shared insights on his tenure as a justice, highlighting the importance of diligence and the commitment to doing one’s best in the role. He reflected on the advice he received about the temporary nature of applause and the enduring responsibility of fulfilling the duties of a justice. Breyer’s comments underscored the challenges and responsibilities that accompany serving on the Supreme Court and emphasized the need for public trust and adherence to legal decisions, even in cases where individuals may harbor personal objections. Through his reflections, Breyer aimed to convey the significance of upholding the rule of law and ensuring the integrity of the judicial system.

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