The U.S. Constitution: Pragmatism versus Textualism on the Supreme Court with Justice Stephen Breyer and Robert Siegel

By | Apr 16, 2024


Justice Stephen Breyer retired in 2022 after serving on the Supreme Court for 28 years. During his tenure he witnessed the growth of the judicial philosophy of textualism, which focuses on determining the meaning and intent of words at the time the Constitution was enacted. In his new book, Reading the Constitution: Why I Chose Pragmatism, Not Textualism, Justice Breyer explains why he values interpreting the Constitution through pragmatism, that is, analyzing the purposes, consequences, history and other aspects of laws; and explores some of the most important cases in the nation’s history through this lens. Join Justice Breyer and Moment Contributor Robert Siegel, former senior host of NPR’s All Things Considered, for a conversation about why pragmatism matters and the consequences of textualism in decisions such as Dobbs and Bruen.


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