U.S. Supreme Court Justices Breyer and O’Connor are Featured Speakers at ABA Annual Meeting in Toronto

CHICAGO, July 25, 2011 — U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer and retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O’Connor will participate in a conversation on civic education in the nation’s schools, among other programs, at the 2011 _ Annual Meeting Aug. 4-9 in Toronto.

With more than 1,400 top-quality legal programs and events, and presentations by the foremost legal experts in the United States and Canada, the ABA Annual Meeting is the premier gathering of legal professionals each year.

Online registration for news reporters is easier than ever. Credential guidelines are at https://abanow.org/reporter-resources/media-credentials/. Stay updated before and during the Annual Meeting by visiting abanow.org.

Events featuring Breyer and O’Connor:

2011 John Marshall Award (O’Connor): The ABA Justice Center will present the John Marshall Award at the ABA Annual Dinner in Honor of the Judiciary to O’Connor for her lifelong achievements in advancing the administration of justice. Her co-recipient is William H. Neukom, former ABA president and founder of the World Justice Project. O’Connor and Neukom will speak while accepting their honors.
Aug. 5, award presentation between approx. 8 – 9 p.m., Fairmont Royal York Hotel

A Conversation on Civic Education in the Nation’s Schools (Breyer, O’Connor): Declining knowledge and appreciation of American government among students and the general public has led the ABA to establish the Commission on Civic Education in the Nation’s Schools, which is developing strategies to expand curriculums on American government. Justices Breyer and O’Connor are panelists.
Aug. 6, 10 – 11:30 a.m., InterContinental Toronto Centre, Ballroom B, Lower Level

Opening Assembly (Breyer): Breyer, author of the recently released book, “Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View,” will be the keynote speaker at the Annual Meeting’s kickoff grand event.
Aug. 6, 5:30 – 7 p.m., The Royal Conservatory, 273 Bloor St. West

Current Crisis in Court Funding: Efficiency, Effectiveness, Accountabil­ity, and Education (O’Connor): In response to widespread court closures, personnel furloughs, suspended jury trials, and other curtailed justice system services due to budget shortfalls, the ABA established the Task Force on Preservation of the Justice System. O’Connor will join commission Co-Chairs David Boies and Theodore B. Olson to review the court funding crisis and strategies courts can use to address it.
Aug. 7, 2 – 4 p.m.,  Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, 714A, 700 Level

Biographical notes

Stephen G. Breyer: Breyer was appointed to the U.S. Supreme Court in 1994. For many years he taught law as a professor at Harvard Law School and at the Kennedy School of Government.  He has also worked as a Supreme Court law clerk (for Justice Arthur Goldberg), a Justice Department lawyer (Antitrust Division), an assistant Watergate special prosecutor, and as chief counsel of the Senate Judiciary Committee.  In 1980 he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, becoming chief judge in 1990. The author of the recent book “Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View,” Breyer has also written numerous books and articles about administrative law, economic regulation and the Constitution. He is a member of the ABA Center for Human Rights and a special adviser to the ABA Rule of Law Initiative.

Sandra Day O’Connor: As the U.S. Supreme Court’s first woman member, O’Connor served from 1981 to 2006. Before this, she served in a range of state, county and municipal judicial, legislative and legal positions. During her time on the bench and since, O’Connor has been a strong advocate for fair and impartial courts, state judicial selection reform, civic education in the nation’s schools and advancement of the rule of law in developing democracies across the globe. Her participation with the ABA includes service on the association’s Central Europe and Eurasian Law Initiative, Commission on Civic Education and the Separation of Powers, Museum of Law, Standing Committee on the Law Library of Congress, and Commission on Fair and Impartial State Courts.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the world’s largest voluntary professional membership organization.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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Note to Editors: During the Annual Meeting, accredited journalists should register on-site at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, South Building, Level 800, Hall E, beginning at 8 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 4. A separate press room behind the main registration area will be open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., and will close one hour after the adjournment of the House of Delegates on Aug. 9.