The Latest (1/27/22):
Justice Stephen Breyer is making it official, telling President Joe Biden in a letter that he will step down from the court later this year.
The Supreme Court released Breyer’s retirement letter Thursday, ahead of the 83-year-old justice’s appearance with the president at the White House.
Biden will have the first Supreme Court pick of his presidency, and he has pledged to put the first Black woman on the nation’s highest court.
The president is considering at least three judges for the expected vacancy on the Supreme Court as he prepares to quickly deliver on his campaign pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the nation’s highest court.
Original Story (1/26/22):
WASHINGTON — Two sources tell The Associated Press that liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring, giving President Joe Biden an opening he has pledged to fill by naming the first Black woman to the high court.
Breyer has been a pragmatic force on a court that has grown increasingly conservative in recent years, trying to forge majorities with more moderate justices right and left of center.
Breyer’s departure won’t change the 6-3 conservative advantage on the court, since his replacement will be nominated and almost certainly confirmed by a Senate where Democrats have the slimmest majority.
It also makes conservative Justice Clarence Thomas the oldest member of the court at 73.