Stephen Breyer leaves the Supreme Court

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President Joe Biden made an announcement on Jan. 27 that Justice Steven Breyer will step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the term.

Biden was the Senate Judiciary Chair during Breyer’s confirmation hearing. During the 2020 election campaign, Biden said he would nominate a black woman onto the court.

Many believe Justice Breyer’s retirement could help Biden. This nomination would help the President with a much-need political win. Biden’s Build Back Better bill is the bill that would help the modern infrastructure has stalled. President Biden’s voting rights legislation has also stalled due to two democratic holdouts. 

The 83-year-old justice was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994. Before his nomination to the court, he was a U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit judge. Breyer was the oldest justice on the bench. 

Breyer was known for his pragmatism on the bench.  In his retirement speech, Breyer pulled out the Constitution to show that the American experience can still work, even during these polarizing times.

Breyer was a moderate liberal during his time on the bench. He believed that the constitution should change with the times. He was most noted to write his dissenting piece about the death penalty. He argued that the court should look at if the death penalty is even constitutional.

The question now for President Biden will be which Black woman will he nominate to the Supreme Court. 

51-year-old Ketanji Brown Jackson graduated from Harvard Law school and was a former clerk for Justice Breyer. She is now a U.S. Court of Appeals-DC Circuit courts and is the frontrunner to replace Justice Breyer.

Leondra Kruger is another top candidate to replace Justice Breyer. She is one of the California Supreme Court justices and was the acting deputy general during the Obama administration. She is a former Justice Department lawyer who has argued cases to the high court.

 Biden will announce his pick by the end of February.

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