Breyer says court applies old values to new events


BOSTON (AP) - U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer says the high court doesn't make difficult decisions based on politics because "judges make terrible politicians."

In a speech to Boston University law students Thursday, Breyer said many people see the court as a "junior varsity Congress" and believe the judges make their decisions based on their political leanings. But he said the court takes centuries-old values in the U.S. Constitution and applies them to modern-day "circumstances that change minute by minute."

Breyer spoke to about 450 students, sounding some themes in his 2010 book, "Making Our Democracy Work."

Breyer described historical Supreme Court decisions that were initially defied by states, including school desegregation in Arkansas in the 1950s. He said over the course of history, though, the country has mostly accepted the court's rulings as the final word in legal disputes.