Philosophy Degree in Public Administration and Policy, Walden University
PPPA-8111-2: Leadership and Organizational Change
Dr. Barrett Mincey
April 16, 2023
Leadership Evaluation of the United States Supreme Court Justice (Ret.) Stephen Breyer
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is a man that went through the changes of our American history. He is a leader that promotes the strengths and challenges of his colleagues. He recognizes the reflection of our American cases that resonate with every American with a similar case. He resonates with me through his work on several American historical cases that have shaped how our nation views equal justice of the law. He is an inspiring, motivating, deliberate, and competitive-natured justice that has excelled throughout his time on the bench. Stephen Breyer puts the belief in your eyes of our American aspirations and challenges to gaining our individualized dreams. The Honorable Stephen Breyer is a leader that inspired me to envision my future and cultivate my communication and transformational leadership style.
Challenges of Stephen Breyer
Stephen Breyer faced many challenges at the United States high court. He was seen as a pragmatic justice that maintained his principles of regulatory policy reform throughout the legal system (White, 2022). He was a justice that saw our American system as a fair and equal discernment of the laws. He wanted the legal system to help people that might have fallen off the right track and to get them toward their individualized dreams. I am similar to his turbulent leadership style which fits the ideology that Americans can make opinions and case decisions to weigh their own circumstantial cases (Oubrich et al., 2021). He wrote opinions with the intense recognition that these opinions would be used to create a new standard of legal work throughout the country.
The pressure of voting on critical cases challenging the laws of the federal, state, and local policies was immense. He would speak to colleges and universities about the influence of the courts and how to manage jurisprudence. Organizational justice is a difficult task to provide through a single opinion or vote, so fostering the rationale for the decision is critical. I reflect that creating procedural justice through processing outcomes that lead to equity or equality is difficult but necessary for U.S. Justices to consider throughout their career (Oubrich et al., 2021).
Relationships with Colleagues
His colleagues considered him a “technocrat” with close government connections, while others found that he was a consensus builder in the judicial branch. He remains an empathetic figure of the court that questions oral arguments and is particular about his constitutional interpretational role. He was known for taking his own independent opinion very serious and wanted to be known for his particular controversies, like freedom of speech in the balancing game against competing interests. He always told his staff to provide greater clarity to the questions that approached the court for interpretation.
Former President Bill Clinton appointed Breyer to the U.S. Supreme Court, and they were known to have a good relationship. He did not initially receive the open nomination that went to Ruth Bader Ginsburg however, one year later, another vacancy opened when Harry Blackmun retired (Pomerance, 2016). Stephen Breyer’s candidacy came after President Clinton interviewed him and decided to endorse him for the seat. While being confirmed, some members of the Senate argued that Breyer would be biased toward “big business” in his decisions; other journalists argued that his “overarching constitutional view” was an enigma (Pomerance, 2016). Throughout these challenges, Stephen Breyer overcame the opposing ideas of his true democratic leadership style to law and policies.
Growth throughout the years
Breyer believed that a quality law or policy needed to provide simple and stable rules over time. Relatively uniform and basic rules needed to be in place so that even non-experts could apply them. He recognized the use for the resolution of disputes litigated through the adversarial process. Over his time on the bench, he urged jurists to form working relationships with other governmental entities including Congress, the White House, and several executive branch agencies. Breyer also stressed the importance of staying out of the way of the legislature unless overturning a law was absolutely necessary to preserve the purpose of the Framers who wrote the Constitution (Pomerance, 2016). For example, his relationship with the American people was regarded as the people developed a habit of obeying the Court’s ruling and opinions, which must be highly respected. Americans put their trust into government and accept that the rules of the judicial branch are preserving the exercise of the rule of law in the nation. Respect for the American people is vital for a Justice because it grants trust that the government will safeguard the people’s ability to participate in the democratic system.
My leadership influence
A democratic leader builds the trust and promotes the vision of the organization throughout their work (Northouse, 2019). Justice Breyer is known for preserving the freedom of speech which is guaranteed by the First Amendment and extended to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment. The controversy of the judicial branch was that federal government or state government have competing societal interests which “outweighs” the individual’s freedom of speech rights. He overcame this ideology through his overarching comprehension of the Constitution and the will of the people.
Envisioning an American people that have diverse ideas and opinions themselves can liberate the constant change of laws and cultural formations with government. Government entities have their own identities which are spread throughout the federal, state, and local agencies. I am inspired by his unique response of Justice Breyer was that sensitivity was a daily importance to interpret their regulations and polices within agencies. He expressed the true value of using the law to promote fair competition for certain industries that prevent new competition to a capitalist market. Working both sides of the dispute, Breyer gives reasonable balance between two parties with a rich history of discernment and conflict resolution.
Strengths and Challenges. I resonate with Justice Breyer’s approach to complex issues because we have several issues that are decided at the state court system. Many of these issues are passed through the judicial branch and it is a administrative process of gathering information and creating rules within the parameters of the new legislation. Being a team member means following the ideas of others and trying to see their point of view. Trusting in the democratic system of government because elected representatives are people that have the opinion of the people they represent. Judicial personnel are a reflection of their offices and the core values that are created throughout the process of judicial rules once laws are challenged through the courts. Envisioning a future of these rulings helps view a positive outcome to the future of your state system. Although, I might not agree with every ruling from the court system, it is important to have self-preservation and acknowledge change in a system.
I can relate to his challenges as a professional in the judicial branch. Sometimes, a opinion can be outside of your reach and is a true will of the people. Yet, we have our own opinions when we dissent from a ruling with another member of our team. We can grasp the idea of their concept for the future of the organization yet, like a Justice opinion it can regard the sensitives that are necessary before proceeding with the majority rule. For instance, although professionals have a completely different view on our organizational direction, we all must follow the path of the majority. Balancing the opinions of others and the true facts of our organizational disputes can help me become a better leader.
Stephen Breyer holds many democratic values that are highly regarded today. He is a charismatic and an honest leader. I relate to his leadership style because he takes the ideas of the people and grants them a sound legal system. Treating everyone with respect and dignity are the qualities of a great leader. I have similar traits of leadership by envisioning the future of my organization. I use my contributions as a way to help the organization grow towards our primary objectives. As a confident leader, we must use our voice to help make decisions for ourselves and others that can push us forward (Northouse, 2019). Strengthening our fundamental freedoms is essential to the judicial branch and it helps us grow as scholar practitioners. I resonate with his lesson on patriotism and optimism of the American experiment that holds our country together as a democratic body with strong values (Roberts et al., 2022).
I have spent a long career working in the judicial branch and helping resolve critical disputes with parties that did not know where to start. I can become a better professional by resembling the leadership qualities that Justice Breyer holds through his years of judicial experience. Although many challenges have arisen for Justice Breyer and myself as a judicial professional, we can overcome these issues through research, envisioning a bright future, and speaking the truth of our circumstances.
Overcoming critical challenges and enhancing our success is vital to growing as a professional leader. I have a strong affinity for the type of leadership sensitivity that must be attributed to helping others resolve their disputes. Helping followers receive correct information is vital to my success as a leader. I envision a fair and honest system of governance for everyone that receives assistance in my profession.
Northouse, P. G. (2019). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice (5th ed.).
Pomerance, B. (2016). An Elastic Aniendment: Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s Fluid Conceptions of
Freedom of Speech. Albany Law Review, 79(2), 403–507.
Oubrich, M., Hakmaoui, A., Benhayoun, L., Solberg Söilen, K., & Abdulkader, B. (2021).
Impacts of leadership style, organizational design and HRM practices on knowledge
hiding: The indirect roles of organizational justice and competitive work environment.
Journal of Business Research, 137, 488–499.
Roberts, J. G., Jr., Jackson, K. B., Breyer, C. R., Crespo, A. M., Martinez, J. S., & Nou, J.
(2022). In Tribute: Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Harvard Law Review, 136(1), 1.
White, A. J. (2022). There Will Be No More Breyers: The day of the liberal pragmatist has
passed. Commentary, 153(3), 33–36.