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The Curious Case of Stephen Breyer

Breyer and Scalia. (CSPAN).

Any man admired by both Senators Ted Kennedy and Orin Hatch couldn’t be all good. And, in fact, Stephen Breyer’s elevation to the highest bench in 1994 illustrated concisely how, across the 80s and 90s, Kennedyesque liberalism and Hatchian conservatism merged into a unified, pro-corporate posture.

Put more nastily, Breyer’s ascent to the Supreme Court offers an unpleasing paradigm for the utter bankruptcy and degradation of that liberal tradition of which Kennedy was erroneously supposed to be the custodian and stout defender. Those with short memories often ascribe certain familiar features of the socio-economic landscape to the “Reagan Revolution.” Such features center on the erosion of government regulations unwelcome to big business.

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