Judge Stephen G. Breyer walk away from the country’s highest court, but he’s still a member of another august panel.
Justice Breyer has been serving as a jury member on the panel that has been awarded the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s highest honor, since 2011.
Supreme Court justices have often tried to keep their private interests private, in part to guard against the perception that they might be biased in this or that case. But some have expressed their passions: two ideologically opposed judges, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, connected to their common love of opera. (An opera, “Scalia/Ginsburg”, even written about their relationship.)
Judge Breyer’s move to start a jury trial in 2011 made clear his longstanding interest in the buildings. Although Judge Breyer had never studied architecture when he attended the panel, he helped develop a suitable design for a federal courthouse in Boston and wrote the foreword to a book called Celebrating the Courthouse: A Guide for Architects, Their Clients, and the Public. ”
On Thursday, the Pritzker Architecture Prize Web site it still lists Justice Breyer, 83, on its website as one of nine jurors. And in an email, a Pritzker Prize spokesperson said: “Justice Stephen Breyer remains an active and valued member of the Pritzker Prize Jury since 2011. US Supreme Court.”
“The Pritzker Prize Jury consists of five to nine members, each serving several years to maintain a balance between past and new members,” spokesperson Eunice Kim said in the email. “Jury members are well-known professionals in their fields.”
Ms. Kim noted that Judge Breyer served as chair of the jury for two years in 2019 and 2020. When he became president, Tom Pritzker, president of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsored the Pritzker Prize, praised his “devotion”. civic-oriented architecture” and its “unique ability to guide a group discussion”.