SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer Confirms Plans To Retire
President Joe Biden met with Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at the White House on Thursday before taking time to laud the justice’s service on the bench and announcing his decision to retire.
“I’m here today to express the nation’s gratitude to Justice Stephen Breyer for his remarkable career in public service and his clear-eyed commitment to making our country’s laws work for its people,” the president said.
Biden then went on to reaffirm his promise to nominate a black female to the court, calling it something that is “long overdue,” going on to promise to reach a decision by the end of February.
The 83-year-old Breyer made his retirement plans official Thursday, with the Supreme Court sending out his retirement letter just before the two were to meet.
Since Biden took office in January 2021, he has focused on nominating a diverse group of judges to the federal bench, not just in race but also in professional expertise. He installed five Black women on federal appeals courts, and three more nominations are pending before the Senate, their experience ranging from civil rights work to federal defense.
By the end of his first year, Biden had won confirmation of 40 judges, the most since President Ronald Reagan. Of those, 80% are women and 53% are people of color, according to the White House.
Having another liberal justice replace Breyer isn’t going to have any sort of impact on the ideological makeup of the court. Conservatives currently outnumber liberals on the bench 6-3.