“Justice Breyer argues for a nuanced approach to decision-making, which in interpreting the Constitution and interpreting federal statutes looks not at one but a number of different factors, namely "history, traditions, precedent, purposes and related consequences." He emphasizes the need to be practical, and the importance of having the Supreme Court "complement" the other two branches of government, each having its own role. He points out that the Supreme Court's power of "judicial review," whereby it can overrule the actions of the Legislative and Executive branches is not something to be taken for granted (and indeed wasn't always so) and that it can only be maintained via the Court's actions in strengthening democracy and earn the respect of the citizenship. He therefore attaches great importance to the reasoning that supports the Court's opinion, since good and sound reasoning is what distinguishes an objective from the purely subjective.
Seen in context, this book is clealry an attempt to counter-react other tendencies in the court, such as those of "traditionalists" whose interpretations of the Constitution would return us to the 18th century, or "activists" who are intent to carry out their own particular agenda. ”