Stephen Breyer, associate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, will speak at the University of Richmond School of Law at a ceremony to dedicate the school’s moot courtroom in memory of the Hon. Robert R. Merhige Jr. The event will be held Oct. 6, 4 p.m., and is by invitation only.

Breyer will speak about Merhige’s legacy and sign copies of his book, “Making Our Democracy Work: A Judge’s View.” The book expands on Breyer’s pragmatic approach to law and constitutional interpretation and argues against exclusive reliance on text or framers’ intent.

President Bill Clinton appointed Breyer to the Supreme Court in 1994. Prior to joining the high court, he served as judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, assistant special prosecutor on the Watergate Special Prosecution Force and special assistant to the U.S. assistant attorney general. Beginning in 1967, he taught many years at Harvard University’s law school and Kennedy School of Government.

Merhige is a 1942 graduate of Richmond Law. He received an honorary degree from the university in 1976 and a Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1979. He served 31 years as a federal judge for the Eastern District of Virginia, presiding over many high-profile cases, including the desegregation of dozens of Virginia public school systems in the 1970s. For many years, he taught classes at the law school, which awarded him the Green Award, its highest honor. When he retired in 1998, Merhige donated his papers to the school. He died in 2005.

Richmond Law has educated more judges in Virginia than any other law school.

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