Justice Stephen Breyer will be leaving the Supreme Court at the end of the current term, according to reports from NBC and Politico citing “people familiar with his thinking.” This would give President Joe Biden the chance to nominate a younger replacement who could serve for decades to come.
The president said during a 2020 interview that he would nominate an African American woman to the High Court as his first choice, and that he already has a list in mind. At 83, Breyer is the oldest currently serving Justice. Progressives put out the call earlier in Biden’s first year in the White House for Breyer to retire, but he resisted.
Nominated by former President Bill Clinton nearly 30 years ago, Breyer is one of three remaining liberal justices on the High Court. If Biden can manage to get a nominee confirmed, it would hold the line at the current composition of the court – six appointed by Republicans to three chosen by Democrats – rather than leaving open the possibility of the GOP replacing Breyer in years to come. The top contenders are believed to be Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who clerked for Breyer and was recently confirmed to the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger.
Breyer’s strategic retirement could be a boon to progressives and Biden’s otherwise thus far disastrous first term as president, but only if his replacement is confirmed. According to CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, the Justice doesn’t plan to actually leave until after a suitable replacement is confirmed.
This is a developing story; stay tuned to Liberty Nation for updates.