Breyer departs highest court

Democrats hope this will allow liberals to hold onto a 3-6 minority on the US Supreme Court.


from the internet

Justice Breyer speaks at a gathering of the Brookings Institute.

Justice Stephen Breyer is set to retire from the Supreme Court after this term.

Breyer is 83 years old and has almost three decades of experience on the job. He is the oldest Supreme Court justice left, and President Biden is looking to replace him.

Breyer is one of three liberal justices left in the supreme court. Justice Breyer was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994 and has been serving ever since. This retirement allows President Biden to appoint someone into his current position as a replacement. Most people I talked to had no idea what about any of the situation. The retirement, the reasons, and the unanswered questions are still pending.

Justice Breyer has been through many years of experience and one of his most recent and publicly known case was speaking up for Donald Trump. This was when the former president was banned from Twitter. This was a violation of the First Amendment which involves freedom of speech. The question goes to what is going to happen in the near future? Breyer has given favorable rulings when it comes to issues such

Justice Stephen Breyer and Abiodun Williams in discussion … | Flickr
Justice Breyer and Abiodun Williams having a conversation

as the rights of LGBTQ+ individuals and reproductive rights and has been referred to as a “champion of liberty and equality”. But at 83 years, he is the oldest justice on the bench, which liberals see as an opportunity. They have been urging Breyer to retire so that his successor can be chosen while the Democrats control the White House and the Senate. During his presidential campaign, Biden promised that his nominee will be the court’s first Black woman.  The nominee can potentially become one of the nine justices. The Court currently has double the number of conservative justices (6) than liberal ones. The split is the same between the number of men (6) and women (3) on the bench. There is also one Black male, justice Clarence Thomas, who was appointed by Republican president George Bush.

After Breyer retires, Thomas will become the oldest on the bench at 73 years. This nomination is crucial, like any other such appointment because Supreme Court justices are appointed for life, a term limit that has lasting consequences on the liberal-conservative divide, which affects the life of citizens by bearing down on issues such as abortion, immigration, gun control and even vaccine mandates.

Under Donald Trump, the court was considered to be one of the most conservative-leaning courts in US history. During his tenure, Trump appointed three justices to the Supreme Court. His last appointment became possible after the death of liberal stalwart Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 2020, after which Trump nominated conservative Amy Coney Barrett to the court. Barrett’s nomination was protested by the Democrats, who called out Trump for pushing to nominate the ninth justice during an election year.

In 2016, which was also an election year, Republicans successfully blocked then president Barack Obama’s nominee, Merrick Garland after justice Antonin Scalia passed away. Worried by the ideological split of the court, the Democrats were also considering expanding the court’s bench in 2020 (also referred to as court-packing) to ensure that the court does not remain strongly to the right for the next 30-40 years or so. Replacing Breyer now will ensure that the Democrats are able to at least retain the current 6-3, conservative-liberal split.

A nominee will be chosen by Biden before February ends. This may not be something that the typical high schooler knows about, but I find this matter very important because it is the highest court possible, and there needs to be credible representatives who are able to uphold our justice system.

After 27 years of service, Justice Breyer is ready to retire at the age of 83. It is pretty remarkable to have served for that long and Breyer will finally be able to enjoy retirement.