Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Announces Retirement


According to The Hill, after more than a year of speculation, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has declared that he will leave the court at the conclusion of the current term in early summer, leaving President Joe Biden with a vacancy to fill while the Senate is still controlled by Democrats.

Because of the Senate’s razor-thin majority, Breyer, 83, has been under great pressure to retire since Biden’s election. The Senate can confirm a Biden candidate without Republican support if all Democrats agree and Vice President Kamala Harris votes to break a deadlock.

The White House declined to comment on Breyer’s retirement at this time.“It has always been the decision of any Supreme Court Justice if and when they decide to retire, and how they want to announce it, and that remains the case today. We have no additional details or information to share from @WhiteHouse.”

Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) stated that a replacement for Breyer would be voted on swiftly.

Democrats have been concerned about Breyer’s retirement since Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died of cancer at the age of 87 while still on the court.

If Breyer had been on the court through 2024 and a Republican was elected president or the Senate flipped back to Republican control, it’s highly feasible that another conservative judge, rather than another liberal, would have been nominated if Breyer had died while still on the bench.

During his presidential campaign in 2020, Biden promised to select a Black woman to the Supreme Court if a vacancy arose. Some have mentioned Washington, D.C. Following Biden’s appointment to the federal appeals court last year, Circuit Judge Kentanji Brown Jackson has been mentioned as a possible appointment.

Republicans want to challenge Biden’s choice, despite the fact that they are unlikely to prevail unless the nominee is extraordinarily liberal and progressive, or has a controversial record.

Even if Biden succeeds in replacing Breyer with a progressive liberal, the court’s composition would remain overwhelmingly conservative as it examines significant abortion and gun rights matters.