Justice Stephen Breyer, apparently the first Supreme Court Justice to appear on a broadcast network’s late-night talk show, tried to defend the high court’s refusal to allow cameras into its proceedings in a chat with the CBS Late Show’s Stephen Colbert on Monday night, reports the Blog of Legal Times. Breyer, described by Colbert as the least-known Justice according to surveys, said justices are not supposed to be personalities while on the bench. “I'm in a job where we wear black robes, in part because we're speaking for the law,” Breyer said. The public is not and should not be concerned about “the Constitution according to Breyer” or any other justice, he added. “They want to know the answer.”
If the public could see court proceedings, Breyer continued, “Will they understand the whole story, will they understand what we're doing, will there be distortions?” The justices have consistently rejected requests by C-SPAN and other media to televise oral arguments. Breyer went on the show to promote his new book, “The Court and the World,” which discusses the increasing importance of foreign courts and laws in the work of the Supreme Court and other U.S. courts. There was no discussion of the book by Colbert, however.