Making Your Dissent Heard

Justice Stephen Breyer reflects on why he has taken the step of reading his dissenting opinions from the bench, which is not a common practice for a Supreme Court Justice.
  • Transcript


Stephen Breyer: Well it’s always been true that usually once or twice a year, someone . . . someone will read a dissent from the bench. And it’s typically a dissent in a case that we think has some importance, and that we think . . . the dissenters usually think is very wrongly decided. The normal attitude when you write a dissent is “how right I am”. I mean that’s human nature. But there have been more than usual. And I think what the dissenters have been saying in their dissents is we think there are quite a few decisions with which we strongly disagree.

Recorded on: 7/5/07