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Stanford Magazine: ‘A Consensus Builder by Disposition’

June 28, 2022

Stephen Breyer, who retired last week after serving nearly three decades as a US Supreme Court Justice, was well known among his law clerks for talking through cases on the spur of the moment. In 2015, Kendall Turner, JD ‘13, rushed to Breyer’s chambers after he had called an emergency meeting, thinking that they would discuss one of the pending cases involving lethal injection, marriage between same-sex couples, or the health insurance of more than 6 million people in three dozen states. Instead, Breyer had asked his clerks to provide backup vocals on a song he was recording for his friend’s birthday. A person of “incredible intellect,” Breyer was also known for having a great sense of humor. Many of his former clerks described the news of his retirement as the “end of an era.”

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