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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Supreme Court Justice visits UA

    Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Stephen Breyer spoke to nearly 200 students at the 29th Annual Marks Memorial Lecture Monday.

    Breyer was charismatic in his speech, which lasted for nearly an hour, telling anecdotes and joking with the audience about his book, “”Active Liberty.””

    “”This is bad time,”” Breyer said about one reviewer’s take on his book. “”Children will not obey their parents, buses don’t run on time and every man is writing a book.””

    Breyer was at UA two years ago, but joked that neither he, nor anyone else, could recall what the topic of his lecture was at that time.

    “”Instead I will speak about Dred Scott,”” Breyer said.

    He continued to speak about the views of journalists, theory of interpretation, segregation in the South, why judicial review fell into the hands of the Supreme Court of the United States and broke down the case of Dred Scott vs. Sandford.

    Breyer delivered a spirited recount of the case that he said is generally acknowledged as the worse case ever decided in the Supreme Court.

    Breyer began his lecture stating he wanted to find something good about the case.

    “”What pleases me the most about this case is when I read the (Supreme Court Justice Benjamin) Curtis dissent. It is a dissent that is based on reason,”” Breyer said. “”It is not a dissent that takes a notion and feeds the emotional nature of the situation.””

    Throughout the lecture, Breyer spoke about the trial and the thought process of the Supreme Court, as well as political ramifications involved with the decision.

    Afterward, Breyer took a few questions and spoke with audience members during the reception.

    The Marks Memorial Lecture was created in 1979 to enrich the curriculum of the College of Law by bringing scholarship and learning of eminent persons in various fields of law. The lectures are held annually at UA’s James E. Rogers College of Law.

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