The Justices Speak Out

Historically, it was relatively unusual for Supreme Court justices to publicly express their views through published writings outside of their opinions. Recent exceptions include Justices Scalia and Stevens, who maintained a long-running debate about how the Constitution should be interpreted, both in their judicial decisions and public speeches and writings.

Recently, sitting Justices have published several books, including Clarence Thomas, My Grandfather’s Son: A Memoir (2007); and Stephen Breyer, Active Liberty: Interpreting Our Democratic Constitution (2005) and Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View (2010). Justice Scalia’s 1997 book, A Matter of Interpretation: Federal Courts and the Law (1997), engaged scholars in a debate about Constitutional originalism; more recently, he co-authored (with Bryan Garner) Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (2008).

See also these comments by the recently retired Justices: