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Stephanopoulos gets Supreme interviews

ABC's George Stephanopoulos is headed for the U.S. Supreme Court.

Stephanopoulos has landed a rare interview with not one but two Supreme Court justices, Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer. Stephanopoulos taped the piece in Philadelphia on Friday for airing today on This Week.

Both justices were in Philadelphia for the official opening of the National Constitution Center.

How did This Week, which ranks behind CBS's Face the Nation and NBC's No. 1 Meet the Press in the Nielsen ratings, get the Supremes?

"Like everything else in this business, it was months of persistence and hard work, plus a little luck," Stephanopoulos said.

This Week has never had one Supreme Court justice as a guest, let alone two, Stephanopoulos said.

"I'm surprised and thrilled. They do these shows so rarely," he said. "Generally, the justices like to let their opinions speak for themselves. They give some speeches and speak to law school seminars, but not much more."

Don't expect O'Connor or Breyer to comment on the court's recent decisions on affirmative action or gay sodomy, both landmark rulings. The justices do not publicly discuss cases.

Still, Stephanopoulos says, "there's much to learn from both justices without crossing the boundaries they don't feel it's appropriate to cross."

"These are two of the most powerful people in America. People are interested in anything we can learn about how they think; what they think of the Constitution in society; how they look at cases; the philosophy they bring to their jurisprudence."

The court's 6-3 ruling two weeks ago striking down state sodomy laws has pushed the controversial issue of gay marriage to the forefront, Stephanopoulos said.

Like a Supreme Court justice, Stephanopoulos won't discuss his personal opinion.

He will say, however, that if he lived in a state such as Vermont, which allows civil unions, "I probably would have voted to make sure gays and lesbians in committed relationships had all the legal rights that heterosexual couples have."

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