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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer retirement, live updates: possible replacements, reactions

Update:
Supreme Court Stephan Breyer expected to retire from the court, giving President Biden an opportunity to nominate a justice to maintain the current balance

Headlines

- Justice Stephen Breyer and President Biden confirm the Justice's retirement in a joint White House address

- Biden will nominate the "first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court’

- Justice Breyer, 83, announced that he plans to retire from the Supreme Court after 27 years of service at the end of the court's current term in June

- Press Secretary Jen Psaki had previously reiterated that Biden would honor his promise to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court

- White House had not made any statements about Justice Breyer's retirement until he had made a formal public announcement

- Supreme Court vacancy gives President Biden his first chance to nominate a Justice; former President Trump nominated three in his single term

- Reported candidates to replace Justice Breyer on the Supreme Court include Ketanji Brown Jackson andLeondra Kruger

Justice Breyer decision to retire based on a realistic assessment

Justice Stephen Breyer oftened warned that the perception of political partisanship could do damage to the judiciary. So it would seem out of character to set up a situation in which President Biden would have ample time and opportunity to make sure his replacement is a left-leaning justice.

Dahlia Lithwick argues though that it was out of realism of the current situation. Athough Justice Breyer is a "romantic, perhaps to the point of self-delusion about the court... he has been anything but a fantasist."

US NEWS

Who are the main candidates for the position in the Supreme Court?

President Biden will have his first and perhaps only opportunity to fill a seat at the Supreme Court. 

Here’s a look at some potential candidates.

White House pushes forward with Supreme Court nomination

Earlier today Justice Stephen Breyer officially announced his attention to stand down at the end of the current Supreme Court session. The 83-year-old liberal has served on the highest court in the land for 27 years and President Biden will be eager to name his own nominee to replace Breyer. CNN's Kaitlan Collins reports that Biden's team could begin contacting the candidates in the coming days. 

Breyer sends retirement letter to Biden

Reports first emerged yesterday which suggested that Justice Stephen Breyer was retiring from the Supreme Court. Initially President Biden refused to comment on the rumours, wanting instead to wait for Breyer to announce it officially, but the retirement was confirmed today. Breyer authored a letter to the President, informing him of the decision speaking of his honour to have served on the Supreme Court for 27 years. 

What would the nomination of a Black woman mean for the Supreme Court?

Democrats aim for quick confirmation process for new Justice

In 2020, shortly before the Presidential Election, President Trump broke from tradition by pushing through the Supreme Court confirmation of Amy Coney Barrett. Justice Barrett was confirmed in little more than a month, and having shown that it is possible MSNBC's Kyle Griffin reports that Senate Democrats are looking to secure the next Supreme Court Justice in a similar timeframe. 

Who will be Biden's pick for the Supreme Court?

News broke yesterday that Justice Stephen Breyer would be retiring at the end of the current Supreme Court session in June. Biden did not initially response to the reports, choosing instead to wait for Breyer to address the media and make his own statement. 

In the White House announcement, President Biden reaffirmed his earlier commitment to nominate the first black woman to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

Biden gives White House address on Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement

Biden and Breyer scheduled to make a joint appearance

When asked about the reported retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer earlier today, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was reluctant to be drawn on the matter. She said that Supreme Court Justices should be afforded the space to announce their retirement at a time of their choosing, and it seems like that time is fast approaching. NBC News' White House correspondent Peter Alexander has reported that Breyer and President Biden will make a joint appearance from the White House tomorrow, Thursday 27 January. 

Who will be Biden's Supreme Court nominee?

News broke earlier today that Justice Stephen Breyer will soon announce his decision to retire from the Supreme Court, the 83-year-old bringing to a close 27 years' service at the end of the current term in June. The decision on who to appoint as his successor will largely be left to President Biden. although his selection will that have to be confirmed by a Senate vote. Here's a few of the potential candidates...

Breyer and Biden go way back

As news of Breyer's retirement comes out, some on social media have reminded the nation of the history between Justice Breyer and President Biden. Almost thirty years ago when Justice Breyer sat before the Senate Judiciary Committee, then Senator Biden oversaw the hearings.

Congresswomen Barbara Lee thanks Justice Breyer for his service

A look back at the legacy of Justice Stephen Breyer

CNN is reporting that Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement will be conditional on President Biden being able to name a confirm a new justice. It seems that he wants to avoid a potential situation where he steps down, and because of legislative obstruction, the Presidnet is unable to nominate and confirm a new justice.

US NEWS

How long has Justice Breyer been on the Supreme Court?

Nominated in 1994, Justice Breyer has been a stanch member of the liberal side of the bench for decades. At eighty-three years of age, Justice Breyer has said in the past that he would like to retire to enjoy the later years of his life without having to focus on his work.

The White House has made it clear that they will not make any formal statements relating to possible nominees until a formal announcement has been made by Justice Breyer.

Read our full coverage for what we know so far.

Who is President Biden considering to replace Justice Breyer?

White House releases very few details as to what President Biden is thinking as news about Justice Breyer's retirement becomes public.

During a press conference this afternoon, White House Press Secretary Jen Pskai  released very few details as to what President Biden is thinking as news about Justice Breyer's retirement becomes public.

One reporter asked if the President was considering nominating Vice President Kamala Harris, but no straight answer was given. Pskai did say that at this point the President is committed to seeking reelection with VP Harris on the ticket.

Justice Breyer described as one of the "most pragmatic justices on the court"

Did President Biden promise to nominate a Black women to the Supreme Court?

Yes. During a primary debate with Bernie Sanders, then candiate-Biden made a promise that "given the opporunity" he would nomainate the first Black women to the court.

Reporters on Capitol Hill do not see many potential roadblocks in getting a Supreme Court nomination through the Senate.

Chuck Schumer says confirmation will be done with "deliberate speed"

Leaders respond to news of Justice Breyer's retirement

Justice Breyer has been a champion of equal justice under the law. I’m thankful for his service & his deep understanding of our Constitution & the rights it protects. I’m ready to get to work to confirm a justice who will continue to uphold these core values for all.

Chris Van Hollen, US Senator - Maryland

Could Republicans hold up the nomination?

Democrats have run into a few stumbling blocks when it comes to Supreme Court nominees over the last few years. Starting in 2016, Republicans blocked the confirmation of President Obama's nominee, Merrick Garland to replace Justice Antonin Scalia after his passing in 2016.

Republicans said that it was a Senate "norm" not to confirm a Supreme Court Justice during a Presidential eleciton year. After Trump was elected, Senate leadership in the GOP used that as justification to reject  Garland's nomination.

When Trump took office her nominated Neil Gorsuch to the court and he was confirmed in April 2017. However, the GOP switched their tune in 2016 after the death of liberal justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who passed just weeks before the 2020 election. President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett and confirmed on 27 October, 2020.

Some worry that because 2022 is a Mid-Term election year, Senate Republicans will make an attempt to obstruct the process. However, given the current rules of the Senate, and the tie breaking powers of VP Harris, the process may not encounter strong opposition.

A look at one of the possible nominees President Biden could make the the Supreme Court

Judge Kentanji Brown-Jackson was questioned last April 2021, when President Biden nominated her to fill Judge Merrick Garland seat on the United States Circuit Judge for the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The Senate confirmed her on a near party line vote in June 2021.

In the clip, Judge Brown Jackson, explains her position on federal sentencing guidleines and more.

Breyer/Clinton

Justice Breyer and President Clinton after nomination to the Supreme Court

Justice Stephen Breyer will be stepping down from the Supreme Court after twenty-seven years. The eighty-three year old justice, was nominated by President Clinton in 1994 and has held strong as liberal voice on the Court.

In 1993, after Justice Byron White retired, Clinton had considered him as an option, but instead chose to nominate Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Shortly after, Harry Blackmun retired from the court, allowing Clinton to nomiate Breyer. He was confirmed by the Senate after seventeen hours of questioning by an 87 to 9 vote.

Photo: Dirck Halstead/Getty Images

Who is Leondra Kruger and could President Biden nominate her to the Supreme Court?

Leondra Kruger currently serves as a justice on the California Supreme Court. She is forty-five years old, and would be one of the youngest people to be nominated to the Supreme Court should President Biden chose to submit her name to the Senate for confirmation. 

Judge Kruger was nominated by then-Governor Jerry Brown to the state's Supreme Court in 2015. Before her appointment she was deputy assistant attorney general at the United States Department of Justice's Office of Legal Counsel.

A California native, she completed much of her higher education on the East Coast, attending Harvard University as an undergraduate, and continuing her education at Yale, where she got her JD. If she were to be nominated, it would not be her first time working within the Supreme Court apparatus. In the early 2000s, Kruger cleared for Justice John Paul Stevens.

Justice Breyer told Stephen Colbert in September that he would not be retiring soon

What had President Biden said about the retirement of Justice Breyer?

While the news of the justice's retirement has been confirmed, a formal announcment from Breyer has yet to be made. The President told some in the press today that he will wait to make a formal statemtn until the jsutices has made a formal announcment.

Memorable quotes from Justice Breyer over the years

It doesn't help to fight crime to put people in prison who are innocent.

Stephen Breyer, US Supreme Court Justice

Every citizen has to figure out what kind of government he or she wants.

Stephen Breyer, US Supreme Court

You can have many different selection systems, but the bottom line has to be a system that, once the judge takes office that judge will feel that he or she is to decide the case without reference to the popular thing or the popular will of the moment.

Stephen Breyer, US Supreme Court Justice

Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson and could she replace Justice Breyer?

One of the names circulating as a possible replacement for Justice Stephen Breyer is Ketanji Brown Jackson. Currently, Judge Brown Jackson serves as a United States circuit judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

As a graduate of Harvard Law, she actually clerked for Justice Breyer. At Harvard, she was the editor of the Harvard Law Review, and after graduating entered private practice.

In 2009, she was nominated by then-President Obama to serve as Vice Chair of the U.S. Sentencing Commission. She was a member of the Commission through 2012, where she made various changes to federal sentencing guidelines to reduce inequities in drug sentencing.

Then, she was nominated to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, where she is still currently serving.

Chuck Schemer promises quick confirmation process on Justice Breyer's replacement

After various political battles have blocked Democrats from being able confirm a justice to the Supreme Court.

Will President Biden nominate a liberal or conservatice Justice?

While the Supreme Court has often been thought of as an apolitical body, it has always had its own ideological tilt.

During President Trump's tenure he was able to nominate three justices to the court, including Amy Coney-Barrett who is far more conservative than Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg whose seat she replaced.

Justice Breyer has been a leading "liberal" on the court, having served longer than Justice Kagan and Sotomayor, and will most likely be replaced by a more liberal judge.

Rumors on possible nominations to the Supreme Court begin to spread

Justice Breyer describes what it means to be a judge for all those in the United States

Which President nominated Justice Stephen Breyer?

President Clinton nominated Justice Breyer to the Supreme Court in 1994. Before joining the highest court in the nation, he worked in the U.S. Court of Appeals, and just before had served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States and the United States Sentencing Commission.

CNN confirms Justice Breyer's retirement

After 27 years on the court, Justice Breyer will step down from the court. Many progressive groups have advocated from Justice Breyer to retire in order to ensure that President Biden can fill his seat. While controversial, many are hoping to avoid the situation that occurred after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsberg.

Justice Stephen Breyer will retire from the Supreme Court

BREAKING NEWS: Justice Breyer to step down, giving President Biden his first opportunity to nominate a Supreme Court Justice.

Hello and Welcome to AS USA's live blog on the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. We will be bringing you the latest updates, reactions to the vacancy, and news on possible replacements.

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