Former Justice Breyer Gets New Job After Retiring

( Former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer didn’t go very long without having a job.

Breyer, who retired from the high court following its last term after spending 42 years of his career as a federal judge, is taking a position with his alma mater as a professor. Effective immediately, he will be serving as the Byrne Professor of Administrative Law and Process at Harvard Law School, where he once attended.

According to the school, Breyer will be teaching reading groups and seminars, while also producing scholarship, writing books and participating in the school’s “intellectual life.”

According John Manning, who serves as the Morgan and Helen Chu Dean and Professor of Law, Breyer is a “historic jurist and a world-class legal scholar who also has a distinguished history as a member of this faculty.”

He continued:

“I am thrilled to welcome him home to Harvard Law School. His brilliance, experience, collegiality, openness and intellectual inquisitiveness will deeply enrich our community and advance our mission of teaching, scholarship and service.”

Breyer said he was very excited to be returning to his alma mater, and to be writing and teaching rather than making critical decisions on the nation’s highest court. In a statement, he said:

“Among other things, I will likely try to explain why I believe it important that the next generations of those associated with the law engage in work, and take approaches to law, that help the great American constitutional experiment work effectively for the American people.”

Back in January, Breyer announced he would be walking away from the bench at the Supreme Court. Many liberals were pressuring him publicly to do so while Democrats held full control of the White House and the Senate.

Because Breyer complied with those calls for him to step away, President Joe Biden was able to successfully nominate whoever he wanted to take Breyer’s place, and the Senate confirmed that selection with just a majority vote.

Breyer’s replacement is Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is the 116th Associate Justice on the high court and its first Black female.

In doing so, Biden stuck to his campaign promise of ignoring all potential candidates for a Supreme Court vacancy except for Black women. When Breyer announced he would be stepping aside, Biden said:

“The person I nominate to replace Justice Breyer will be someone with extraordinary qualifications — character, experience and integrity. And they will be the first Black woman nominated to the United States Supreme Court.”

Even with Jackson now taking her oath to serve on the Supreme Court starting with its next term, the high court will still have a decidedly conservative edge. There are six justices who were appointed by Republican presidents, with only three being appointed by Democratic presidents.

One of those conservatives, Chief Justice Joh Roberts, sometimes sides with the liberals on major cases, but even he is outnumbered now — thanks to former President Donald Trump being able to successfully confirm three conservative Supreme Court justices during his four years in the White House.