Justice Breyer’s decision to quote Gettysburg Address and 'civil war' in retirement remarks 'not by accident': experts

Justice Breyer’s decision to quote Gettysburg Address and 'civil war' in retirement remarks 'not by accident': experts
Conversations on the Constitution with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer; Justice Stephen Breyer, Supreme Court Associate Justice. US National Archives

During his unscripted remarks with President Joe Biden at a White House event Thursday to announce his retirement, Justice Stephen Breyer made very specific mention of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, quoting from the iconic president’s famous Civil War-era speech (video below.)

Bloomberg White House reporter Jennnifer Epstein observed the Justice, who will have served for 28 years on the nation’s highest court, held up a copy of the Constitution at one point as he was speaking.


“Please listen carefully,” NBC News Presidential Historian Michael Beschloss urged. “Not by accident did Justice Breyer, in appearance with President Biden, quote Lincoln saying that the nation was ‘engaged in a great Civil War’ and remind us that the American system is always an experiment whose survival must never be taken for granted.”

Former U.S. Acting Solicitor General Neal Katyal calls Breyer’s remarks “brilliant,” and also notes his civil war remarks were not by accident.

Leah Litman, an assistant professor of constitutional law at the University of Michigan observed, “Justice Breyer seems to be … pointedly talking about threats facing the country. and about how future generations will determine and see whether this experiment succeeds.”

The LA Times’ White House reporter Eli Stokols says Justice Breyer was “suggesting America’s still engaged in ‘a civil war’ but expressing optimism that the democratic experiment will endure.”

Watch:

#story_page_post_article

Understand the importance of honest news ?

So do we.

The past year has been the most arduous of our lives. The Covid-19 pandemic continues to be catastrophic not only to our health - mental and physical - but also to the stability of millions of people. For all of us independent news organizations, it’s no exception.

We’ve covered everything thrown at us this past year and will continue to do so with your support. We’ve always understood the importance of calling out corruption, regardless of political affiliation.

We need your support in this difficult time. Every reader contribution, no matter the amount, makes a difference in allowing our newsroom to bring you the stories that matter, at a time when being informed is more important than ever. Invest with us.

Make a one-time contribution to Alternet All Access, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you.

Click to donate by check.

DonateDonate by credit card
Donate by Paypal
{{ post.roar_specific_data.api_data.analytics }}