Breyer Announces His Retirement From The Supreme Court Before Event With Biden

Malouf: Breyer would facilitate the arrival of Biden’s nominee 1:05

(WABNEWS) — Justice Stephen Breyer formally notified President Joe Biden on Thursday of his intention to retire at the end of this year’s Supreme Court term, according to a letter released by the high court.

The formal announcement came before Biden and Breyer take part in a White House event to mark the judge’s retirement.

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The president is expected to deliver remarks on Breyer’s retirement at 12:30 pm in the Roosevelt Room of the White House.

Breyer’s retirement gives Biden a chance to appoint his first Supreme Court justice and bolster the liberal minority on the court. The appointment will be one of the most important elections of the Biden presidency. He may just offer her a political lifeline before the 2022 midterm elections.

Breyer informed the White House of his decision to step down last week, two sources familiar with the conversation told WABNEWS. Breyer, 83, has faced intense pressure from the left to step down. While the Democrats have a clear path to confirm your replacement.

Biden’s choice to replace Breyer is expected to be a younger liberal judge who could serve on the court for decades. Confirmation would not alter the balance of the Supreme Court: there are six conservative justices appointed by Republican presidents and three liberal justices appointed by Democrats.

But confirmation of a liberal justice would be a huge win for Democrats and could give the party a much-needed boost ahead of November’s midterm elections. Biden’s approval ratings have dropped significantly in recent months and Democrats are bracing for the possibility of Republicans taking control of Congress.

Biden said on the 2020 election campaign that he intended to make history by nominating the first black woman to serve on the Supreme Court. White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters Wednesday that Biden “certainly delivers” on the promise.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer promised Wednesday that whoever Biden nominates for the court will be confirmed with “all deliberate speed.” Biden will have to nominate someone who can safely get 50 votes in the Senate, as Democrats currently have only the narrowest majority in the House. The president hopes that a speedy process will lead to justice confirmed by the spring.

Long before Breyer’s retirement plans were made public, a short list of possible nominees had been circulating in Washington, and officials in the White House Counsel’s Office had created files on various candidates in anticipation of a possible opening.

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