Sep 16, 2008 / 04:03 am
A Fordham University legal ethics center’s decision to award an ethics prize to the pro-abortion rights Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer is drawing criticism for apparently ignoring the justice’s participation in a Supreme Court decision that struck down laws restricting the practice of partial-birth abortion.
Fordham University’s Stein Center for Law and Ethics recently announced Justice Breyer’s selection as the 2008 winner of the Fordham-Stein Ethics Prize. According to the prize’s charter, it recognizes an individual who "exemplifies outstanding standards of professional conduct, promotes the advancement of justice, and brings credit to the profession by emphasizing in the public mind the contributions of lawyers to our society and to our democratic system of government."
William Michael Treanor, dean of Fordham Law, praised the jurist.
"Justice Breyer has devoted his life to the public good,” he said in a press release. “He was a brilliant, influential, and path-breaking scholar. His government service before taking the bench was of the highest quality. As a jurist, his opinions have been marked by thoughtfulness, balance, rigor, and a commitment to justice and liberty. He has been an eloquent and forceful champion of judicial integrity, as we saw this spring when he participated in a forum on judicial independence at Fordham Law together with Justice Sandra Day O'Connor. In every facet of his extraordinary career, he has embodied the great ideals of the Fordham-Stein Prize, and he is a superb honoree."