It was announced Wednesday that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will be stepping down at the end of the term. The move comes as a surprise because he recently penned a book talking about not wanting his seat to be a political one.
The Court has increasingly grown more radical and far-right due to appointees from former President Donald Trump and one justice denied to former President Barack Obama in 2016. Breyer's resignation won't change the makeup of the court, however.
President Joe Biden expects to make the announcement officially on Thursday. During the 2020 campaign, Biden said that he would nominate a Black woman, a demographic that has never been represented on the top court.
\u201cI committed that if I\u2019m elected as president and have the opportunity to appoint someone to the courts, I\u2019ll appoint the first Black woman to the Court. It\u2019s required that they have representation now \u2014 it\u2019s long overdue.\u201d - @JoeBiden— Andrew Weinstein (@Andrew Weinstein) 1643217938
Former federal prosecutor Joyce White Vance noted that Republicans like Sen. Mitch McConnell have kept an open vacancy on the Court for a year so they could steal it but then rushed through another one after voting in the 2020 election had already started.
McConnell refused to confirm a justice in an election year (2016) & rushed one thru after voting started in 2020. Looking forward to his straight-faced argument against confirming ahead of the midterm elections.https://twitter.com/neal_katyal/status/1486383812497928195\u00a0\u2026— Joyce Alene (@Joyce Alene) 1643216673
The announcement was met with cheers by many who have been hoping that Breyer would retire and give a Democratic president and Senate the ability to ensure another liberal jurist can remain on the court.
Hallefuckinglujah \u2014 Stephen Breyer is retiring from the Supreme Court!https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/supreme-court/justice-stephen-breyer-retire-supreme-court-paving-way-biden-appointment-n1288042\u00a0\u2026— Miranda Yaver, PhD (@Miranda Yaver, PhD) 1643216584
A Biden appointee would not change the court's ideological balance, but would enable him to refresh its liberal wing with a much younger jurist in the lifetime post.https://twitter.com/dnlbrns/status/1486382305258221575\u00a0\u2026— Jan Wolfe (@Jan Wolfe) 1643216696
See other comments below:
Kyrsten Sinema about to come out here claiming to be a Black woman and criticize the administration for not nominated her.— Elie Mystal (@Elie Mystal) 1643217348
Wolf reports that Biden and Breyer will announce this as early as tomorrow. And Breyer won\u2019t leave until a nominee is confirmed— Manu Raju (@Manu Raju) 1643217112
Yes, we can all name other Black women that we very much like. But assuming that Biden is going to do things by the most obvious book, and nominate a justice who has spent their career being a judge, this is your list.— Elie Mystal (@Elie Mystal) 1643217017
Justice Breyer is retiring from the Supreme Court. We need a strong, pro-democracy pick to protect and expand voting rights and free and fair elections.— Marc E. Elias (@Marc E. Elias) 1643217435
California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger would be a fitting replacement for Justice Breyer.https://twitter.com/joshnbcnews/status/1486382464511746051\u00a0\u2026— Renato Mariotti (@Renato Mariotti) 1643217627
With Breyer stepping down, here are your names: \n\nKetanji Brown Jackson: D.C. Circuit\nLeondra Kruger: California Supreme Court\nMichelle Childs: South Carolina District Court— Elie Mystal (@Elie Mystal) 1643216810
HUGE NEWS\n\nSupreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring\n\nWe need a brilliant, young progressive jurist for Supreme Court\n\nAnd there has NEVER been a Black woman on #SCOTUS\n\nI'd love to see @Sifill_LDF follow in the footsteps of Thurgood Marshall, but doubt she'll be the pick https://twitter.com/elienyc/status/1486385153438064641\u00a0\u2026pic.twitter.com/vNYlgJAbGo— Adam Cohen Lawyers for Good Government #DemCast (@Adam Cohen Lawyers for Good Government #DemCast) 1643217940
Given Biden's promise to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court, names like Ketanji Brown Jackson, Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, Tiffany Cunningham, Eunice Lee, Holly Thomas and Michelle Childs, who have all been tapped by Biden for appeals courts, are going to make the rounds.— Jacqueline Thomsen (@Jacqueline Thomsen) 1643217609
You can be sure that the White House has already done extensive memos and research on the leading candidates, esp Krueger and Ketanji-Brown, but now they will have to do more personal and probing inquiries, with their participation.— Harry Litman (@Harry Litman) 1643217874
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