Retired Justice Stephen Breyer joining Harvard law faculty

Category : Education/Family

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article.

  1. justice / ˈdʒʌs tɪs / (n.) – a judge, especially from a country’s supreme court

    The corruption case will be decided by the justice.

  2. faculty / ˈfæk əl ti / (n.) – a group of teachers in a school

    Our international school’s faculty has teachers from all over the world.

  3. appeals court / əˈpilz kɔrt / (n.) – a court that reviews cases that have already been decided on

    The company will bring the case to an appeals court for a chance to get a lower penalty.

  4. scholarship / ˈskɒl ərˌʃɪp / (n.) – serious or formal study about something

    All graduate students need to produce scholarship in their chosen topic.

  5. hear / hɪər  / (v.) – to listen, investigate, and decide on a court case

    The local court will hear the robbery case on Monday.


Read the text below.

Retired Justice Stephen Breyer is getting a different title: professor.

Harvard said that Breyer, who retired from the Supreme Court June 30, is re-joining its law school faculty. Breyer is a graduate of the law school and first joined the Harvard faculty in 1967. He continued to teach at Harvard after he became a federal appeals court judge in 1980 until former President Bill Clinton nominated him to the Supreme Court in 1994.

Harvard said in a statement that Breyer will “teach seminars and reading groups, continue to write books and produce scholarship, and participate in the intellectual life of the school and in the broader Harvard community.”

Breyer, 83, does not yet have any classes listed in Harvard’s online course catalog. However, the school said his appointment as Byrne Professor of Administrative Law and Process would be effective immediately. Breyer is a longtime expert in administrative law, the law surrounding government agencies, and co-authored a textbook on the subject.

Harvard’s announcement included a statement from Breyer. “I am very pleased to return to Harvard to teach there and to write,” 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.”

Breyer has not said what else he might do in retirement. A 1937 law allows retired Supreme Court justices to continue to hear and decide cases on lower federal courts, a practice called “sitting by designation.” Breyer has not said if that is something he will do.

This article was provided by The Associated Press.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.

Discussion A

  • Former Justice Stephen Breyer will work as a professor at Harvard after retiring from the Supreme Court. Do you think it’s good that Harvard would hire a retiree? Why or why not? Discuss.
  • Justice Breyer is a graduate of Harvard Law School and was previously part of their faculty. He was also an appeals court judge and a member of the Supreme Court. Would you take classes from someone like him? Why or why not? Discuss.

Discussion B

  • What jobs do you think people should be allowed to continue despite their old age (ex. teaching, being a scientist)? Discuss.
  • Would you work again after retirement? Why or why not? Discuss.
Category : Education/Family