The magistrate is part of the group of progressives within the highest body of justice. President Joe Biden will be in charge of finding his replacement
The US media announced on Wednesday that progressive judge Stephen Breyer is preparing to retire, which will open the opportunity for President Joe Biden to look for a replacement.
Breyer, 83, is one of nine members of the highest court in the United States, where the Conservatives currently hold a 6-3 majority.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a message on Twitter that the government has no information about Breyer’s plans, explaining that Supreme Court justices traditionally make their own decisions about when to retire and how to communicate it.
However, and according to published information, Breyer plans to retire at the end of his current term, at the end of June, which would allow Biden to choose a successor and ensure that the Senate confirms him before the scheduled mid-term elections. in November, in which the Democrats could lose control of the upper house.
The Democratic president promised that, given the chance, he would appoint a black woman to the Supreme Court. The name of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, of the federal appeals court in Washington, is one of the most popular names for the position.
In recent years, as the composition of the highest court became more conservative, Breyer stood out for his pragmatic role, trying to forge majorities with more moderate justices, both to the right and left of center.
Breyer has been a judge since 1994 when he was appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton. Along with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Breyer opted not to resign the last time Democrats controlled the White House and Senate under President Barack Obama.
Ginsburg died in September 2020, and then-President Donald Trump filled the vacancy with a conservative judge, Amy Coney Barrett.
Often overshadowed by her, Breyer wrote two important opinions in support of abortion rights in a court sharply divided on the issue and exposed his growing discomfort with the death penalty in a series of dissenting opinions crafted in recent years.
Born in San Francisco, Breyer became an Eagle Scout as a teenager and began a stellar academic career at Stanford, graduating with the highest honors. He attended Oxford, where he also received first-class honors in philosophy, politics, and economics. Breyer then attended Harvard Law School, where he worked at the Law Review and graduated with the highest honors.
Breyer’s departure, however, will not change the 6-3 conservative advantage, although his replacement will be nominated by Biden and almost certainly confirmed by a Senate where Democrats have the slimmest majority.
In addition to Ketanji Brown Jackson, names circulating as potential nominees include California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger; noted civil rights attorney Sherrilyn Ifill; and US District Judge Michelle Childs, whom Biden has nominated to be a court of appeals.
Appointments to the Supreme Court, which arbitrates on most major social issues in the United States, have been the subject of political battles for a few years.
Currently, the court has invalidated the compulsory vaccination in large companies decreed by Biden and seems headed to reconsider the right to abortion and expand the right to bear arms.