On Thursday President Joe Biden formally announced the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer at the White House. The President praised the liberal jurist as a “model public servant” and vowed to move swiftly to name his successor.
Biden said in the announcement, “I’m here today to express the nation’s gratitude to Justice Stephen Breyer for his remarkable career of public service, and his clear-eyed commitment to making our country’s law work for its people.”Biden added, “We all had high hopes for the mark he would leave on the history of law and the Constitution, and he’s exceeded those hopes in every possible way.”
Breyer, 83, is the second oldest senior associate justice, and his retirement has been encouraged by liberals who wanted to ensure Biden’s nominee would benefit from a Senate controlled by Democrats.
Biden noted multiple times, his personal connection to Breyer, as the only president to have presided over a justice’s confirmation, when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee and Breyer was nominated to the Supreme Court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton.
Justice Breyer’s retirement clears the way for Biden to follow through on his campaign to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS), a historic first pick.
Biden said, “While I’ve been studying candidates’ backgrounds and writings, I’ve made no decision except one: the person I will nominate will be someone with 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 opinion, I made that commitment during the campaign for president, and I will keep that commitment.”
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday, “President Biden has been reviewing the records of potential Supreme Court candidates since last year.”
His intention is to nominate a qualified candidate after completing a rigorous process,” she said of the timing.
Psaki added, “His statement that he intends to announce his nomination to replace Stephen Breyer by the end of February makes it clear it’s a priority form him.” She added, “We have not mentioned a single name, We have not put out a list.”