American Bar Association

Retired Supreme Court Justice Breyer to head ABA ROLI board

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Stephen Breyer

Ret. Justice Stephen Breyer has been an ABA member since 1988. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, Pool, File)

Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will become the next chair of the Rule of Law Initiative Board, the ABA announced Friday.

Breyer, who retired from the Supreme Court in July, will oversee the 20-member board and five regional councils that help guide the direction of ROLI programs worldwide. According to an ABA news release, ROLI has promoted “justice, economic opportunity and human dignity through the rule of law” in 130 countries for more than 30 years.

“ROLI’s current portfolio includes work in more than 50 countries with a mix of humanitarian assistance, justice system development and advocacy,” the ABA added.

An ABA member since 1988, Breyer has served as a special advisor to the ROLI Board. He was actively involved in the Section of Administrative Law & Regulatory Practice before joining the Supreme Court. After his appointment, he spoke at several association conferences, annual meetings and special events.

The ABA also announced in late June that Breyer will receive the 2022 ABA Medal, the association’s highest honor. According to the association, it is bestowed upon a lawyer for “exceptionally distinguished service … to the cause of American jurisprudence.”

Breyer, who was replaced by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, was appointed to the Supreme Court by then-President Bill Clinton in 1994. He graduated from Harvard Law School, where he worked as a professor and was credited by several scholars with making the field of administrative law more pragmatic. He later served as chief judge of the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Boston.

Breyer will accept the ABA Medal at the 2022 ABA Annual Meeting, which runs from Aug. 3-9 in Chicago. He will also begin his new role with ROLI at the close of the meeting.

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