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Breyer: An Eight-Member Court Will 'Do Our Work'

Justice Breyer

"For the most part, it will not change," said Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer of sitting on an eight-member court, reports Politico. "We'll miss him, but we'll do our work." Breyer made an appearance at the Newseum yesterday, where he was interviewed by NBC correspondent Pete Williams. (We snapped this photo of the justice during a '14 talk.)

The justice pointed out that half of the Supreme Court's cases are decided unanimously. Only about 20% of decisions are 5-4. If decisions come down to a 4-4 split, the lower court's ruling stands (though no precedent is set).

Breyer also spoke about the late Justice Scalia: "He was absolute fun. Underlying a very, very sharp wit, a very strong intellect and an ability to see the humorousness in different situations, underlying that was an absolute seriousness of purpose." He mentioned that Scalia was "absolutely serious about the Constitution," and helped make life at the High Court more pleasant for those who work there.

Justice Samuel Alito spoke on Tuesday about sitting an eight-member Supreme Court, saying, "We'll see what develops." [Politico]