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Breyer to Leave Supreme Court but Stay on Pritzker Prize Panel

Justice Stephen G. Breyer is stepping away from the nation’s highest court, but he is still a member of another august panel.

Justice Breyer has been serving as a juror on the panel that awards the Pritzker Prize, architecture’s greatest honor, since 2011.

Supreme Court justices have often sought to keep their private interests private, in part to guard against the perception that they may be biased in one case or another. But some have made their passions known: Two ideologically opposed justices, Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Antonin Scalia, bonded over their shared love of opera. (An opera, “Scalia/Ginsburg,” was even written about their relationship.)

Justice Breyer’s move in 2011 to begin serving on the jury made clear his longstanding interest in buildings. Though he had never studied architecture when he joined the panel, Justice Breyer had helped devise a suitable design for a federal courthouse in Boston and written the foreword to a book called “Celebrating the Courthouse: A Guide for Architects, Their Clients, and the Public.”

As of Thursday, the Pritzker Architecture Prize’s website still listed Justice Breyer, 83, as one of nine jurors on its website. And in an email, a spokeswoman for the Pritzker Prize said: “Justice Stephen Breyer remains an active and valued member of the Pritzker Prize Jury, since 2011. His service and term on the Pritzker Prize Jury is independent from that of his position on the U.S. Supreme Court.”

“The Pritzker Prize Jury is composed of five to nine members, who each serve for multiple years to assure a balance between past and new members,” the spokeswoman, Eunice Kim, wrote in the email. “Jurors are recognized professionals in their own fields.”

Ms. Kim noted that Justice Breyer had served as the chair of the jury for two years, in 2019 and 2020. When he became chair, Tom Pritzker, the chairman of the Hyatt Foundation, which sponsors the Pritzker Prize, praised his “devotion to civic-minded architecture” and “his unparalleled ability to guide a group deliberation.”

Circassia News

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