Justice Stephen Breyer on 'Making Our Democracy Work'

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Partisan politics, brinkmanship, periodic threats to shutdown the government over seemingly routine matters — it is easy to see why so many Americans have grown disillusioned with the political system. "If there's too much cynicism, then the Constitution won't work, it can't," Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer tells The Takeaway. A Clinton appointee who has spent 15 years on the nation's highest court, Breyer warns that a jaded, disfranchised electorate is perilous to a functioning democracy in the U.S. under the Constitution.

In his new book, "Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge's View," Breyer discusses why it is imperative for citizens to participate in civic life and understand the government for democracy to continue to flourish. Justice Breyer talks about the challenges facing government, controversial Supreme Court decisions like Bush v. Gore and Citizens United, and answers listener questions about the Court.


Justice Stephen Breyer

Produced by:

Jillian Weinberger

Comments [6]

Carl Larson from Oakland, CA

"I think Bush v. Gore was wrong."

- Justice Breyer


Sep. 28 2011 11:08 AM
Ken from Michigan

You speak of underlying values that must then be applied. Where does meaning fit in? Don't you first determine what it meant, then apply it to today's situation? Can a text mean now what it never meant?

Sep. 28 2011 09:53 AM
Ella Delaneu from Chicago

Can we get Judge Breyer's take on the political funding /corp question? I believe that's central to all of these protests- they believe the system has been hyjacked by money and influence...

Sep. 28 2011 09:36 AM

Aagh! Programming cut Justice Breyer off in midstream responding to the influence question. Why?

Sep. 28 2011 08:01 AM
David from NJ

How does Justice Breyer think the preamble to the contitution figure into decisions as opposed to the actual constitution itself?

Sep. 28 2011 07:53 AM
Margaret Burke from New York

Justice Breyer, There has been much talk about Justice Thomas's connections to organizations who are fighting against the President's new healthcare bill. Do you think he should recuse himself from that case?

Sep. 28 2011 07:51 AM

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