UPDATED 5:47 PM PT – Friday, July 15, 2022
Recently retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is returning to Harvard University to teach. Harvard announced the 83-year-old is re-joining its law school faculty in a statement on Friday, revealing his appointment as Byrne Professor of Administrative Law and Process.
The college said Breyer will be teaching seminars and reading groups among other activities. Breyer is a Harvard Law School graduate who first joined the faculty back in 1967 and taught until President Clinton nominated him to the supreme court in 1994.
“Justice Breyer is a historic jurist and a world-class legal scholar who also has a distinguished history as a member of this faculty,” Dean John F. Manning said in a statement. “His brilliance, experience, collegiality, openness and intellectual inquisitiveness will deeply enrich our community and advance our mission of teaching, scholarship, and service.”
When I took administrative law from Breyer, he was a sweet man who also taught antitrust but was not Areeda. Now, of course, he is a giant — and still a sweet man. Great news for @Harvard_Law & its students, but also for the American legal system. Hope he will help @FTC, too. https://t.co/WWr3U5ZcRU
— Stephen Calkins (@scalkins2) July 15, 2022
Breyer announced his retirement last January, clearing the way for President Joe Biden to nominate Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson to take his seat. Breyer’s retirement from the high court became effective on June 30 after the court released its last opinion in one of the most significant terms in decades. Jackson was sworn in the same day.
In his last term, the 83-year-old justice found himself in dissent in cases concerning abortion, gun rights, the environment and religious liberty, as the 6 to 3 conservative leaning court jolted to the right with the addition of three of former President Donald Trump’s nominees. Jackson who was a former clerk to Breyer will not shift the ideological make up of the court, but at 51 years old she is likely to serve for decades.
The retired justice said he is very pleased to return to the university.