Samuel Case, FISM News
Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer, in a letter to President Joe Biden, officially confirmed on Thursday he will be retiring from the Supreme Court “when the Court rises for the summer recess this year,” if a successor had been confirmed by that point.
I enormously appreciate the privilege of serving as part of the federal judicial system – nearly 14 years as a Court of Appeals Judge and nearly 28 years as a Member of the Supreme Court. I have found the work challenging and meaningful. My relations with each of my colleagues have been warm and friendly. Throughout, I have been aware of the great honor of participating as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the rule of law.
At 83, Breyer is the oldest justice to serve on the court and is second the longest serving justice behind conservative Justice Clarence Thomas.
During his remarks on Breyer’s retirement, President Biden praised him as “an exemplary justice, fair to the party before him, courteous to his colleagues, careful in his reasoning.”
Speaking from the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Biden confirmed his intentions to nominate a black woman as Breyer’s replacement. The president said the move is “long overdue” and promised to have decided on a nomination by the end of February.
While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: the person I will nominate will be someone of extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity, and that person will be the first black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court. It’s long overdue, in my view. I made that commitment during the campaign for President, and I will keep that commitment.
Biden said that Vice President Kamala Harris is advising him in the selection process for this “historic candidate,” noting her former roles as California AG and member of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
The president’s decision to pick Breyer’s successor on the basis of race sex, rather than solely on legal qualifications, has been widely condemned by Republicans.
Former Housing Secretary Dr. Ben Carson decried Biden’s rationale in an interview on WMAL’s “The Vince Coglianese Show”:
If he can do that, then who else can do it in the future using the criteria that they want and completely ignoring all the progress that’s been made? It makes absolutely no sense, and I hope people will be incensed about it.