Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire

Justice Stephen G. Breyer
Justice Stephen G. Breyer

WASHINGTON, D.C. (KLKN) – The oldest member of the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal wing, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, is retiring from the bench.

Bryer was nominated in 1994 by president Bill Clinton and is a staunch defender of a nonpartisan judiciary.

Democrats began lobbying for his exit once President Biden took office, they hope his exit will give Biden room to appoint a younger, more liberal justice.

The vacancy now clears the way for Biden to nominate an African American woman to the court, a historic first and something he promised during the 2020 campaign.

There have been five female justices in Supreme Court history; three are currently serving – Justices Barrett, Elena Kagan, and Sonia Sotomayor, the first and only woman of color confirmed to the high court.

Biden’s current shortlist for a new justice includes notable judges such as Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, Judge Leondra Kruger, Judge Leslie Abrams Gardner, and Judge J. Michelle Childs.

Breyer, the court’s oldest member at 83, will step down despite apparent good health, deep passion for the job, and active involvement in cases.

During the current term, he authored major opinions upholding the Affordable Care Act, affirming the free speech rights of students off-campus, and resolving a multi-billion dollar copyright dispute between two titans of American technology, Google and Oracle.

Stepping down early in the Biden presidency and while Democrats retain a razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate, will help ensure his seat is filled with someone who shares his judicial philosophy.

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