Scalia, Breyer to Discuss Constitution at UA-Hosted Event
The UA's William H. Rehnquist Center is hosting this rare opportunity to watch two sitting Supreme Court justices discuss the U.S. Constitution. Arizona Public Media will broadcast the discussion live.

Johnny Cruz
Oct. 22, 2009

The William H. Rehnquist Center at the University of Arizona James E. Rogers College of Law will host a discussion between two U.S. Supreme Court Justices on Monday.

"A Conversation on the Constitution: Principles of Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation," a discussion between Justice Antonin Scalia and Justice Stephen Breyer, takes place Monday, Oct. 26 at 11:30 a.m. at the Leo Rich Theatre in Tucson.

The event's moderator is NBC News justice correspondent Pete Williams.

Tickets are no longer available to the public, but the discussion will broadcast live on PBS World, the 24-hour PBS channel from Arizona Public Media.

Locally, PBS World is on digital broadcast Channel 27-3, Cox Channel 83 and Comcast Channel 203.

The event also will be webcast live on the Arizona Public Media Web site.

Scalia, an associate justice, was born in Trenton, N.J., March 11, 1936. He received his A.B. from Georgetown University and the University of Fribourg, Switzerland, and his LL.B. from Harvard Law School, and was a Sheldon Fellow of Harvard University from 1960-1961.  

He was in private practice in Cleveland, Ohio from 1961-1967, a professor of law at the University of Virginia from 1967-1971, a professor of law at the University of Chicago from 1977-1982 and a visiting professor of law at Georgetown University and Stanford University.

He was chairman of the American Bar Association's Section of Administrative Law from 1981-1982, and its conference of section chairman from 1982-1983. He served the federal government as general counsel of the Office of Telecommunications Policy from 1971-1972, chairman of the Administrative Conference of the United States from 1972-1974 and assistant attorney general for the Office of Legal Counsel from 1974-1977.  

He was appointed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit in 1982.  President Ronald Reagan nominated him as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat Sept. 26, 1986.  

Breyer, an associate justice, was born in San Francisco, Calif., Aug. 15, 1938. He received an A.B. from Stanford University, a bachelor's degree from Magdalen College in Oxford, and an LL.B. from Harvard Law School.  

He served as a law clerk to Justice Arthur Goldberg of the U.S. Supreme Court during the 1964 term, as a special assistant to the assistant U.S. attorney general for antitrust from 1965-1967, as assistant special prosecutor of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force in 1973, as special counsel of the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee from 1974-1975 and as chief counsel of the committee from 1979-1980.  

He was an assistant professor of law and lecturer at Harvard Law School from 1967-1994, a professor at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government from 1977-1980, and a visiting professor at the College of Law in Sydney, Australia, and at the University of Rome. From 1980-1990, he served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as its chief judge from 1990-1994.

President Bill Clinton nominated Breyer as an associate justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat Aug. 3, 1994.

The William H. Rehnquist Center on the Constitutional Structures of Government was established in 2006 at the UA Rogers College of Law to honor the legacy of the 16th chief justice. The center is non-partisan, dedicated to encouraging scholarship and dialog about, and public understanding of, three areas that were integral to Chief Justice Rehnquist's jurisprudence: the separation of powers among the three branches of the federal government, the balance of powers between the federal and state governments and among sovereigns more generally, and judicial independence.

The center's activities focus on three programs. First, in order to encourage scholarship and dialogue about federalism, separation of powers and judicial independence, the center sponsors a visiting scholars program, law student fellows, an annual lecture and periodic seminars and conferences. Second, the center organizes and participates in international judicial exchanges involving U.S. and foreign judges and lawyers. This effort is organized under the Sandra Day O'Connor International Judicial Exchange Program. It also has developed a public outreach and education program.

Extra info


"A Conversation on the Constitution: Principles of Constitutional and Statutory Interpretation"


Monday, Oct. 26, 11:30 a.m.


Arizona Public Media Web site



PBS World (digital broadcast channel 27-3, Cox channel 83, Comcast channel 203)