Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring. This, unfortunately, gives Biden his first high court opening. Biden has pledged to fill this opening with a historic naming of the court’s first Black woman.
Breyer, now 83, has been a pragmatic force on a court that has grown increasingly conservative, so appointing simply based on conservative or liberal does not necessarily mean a thing. Chief Justice Roberts made clear last year that SCOTUS does not decide cases according to politics. Breyer’s retirement will give Biden the chance to name and win confirmation of a replacement before next fall’s election when Republicans could retake the Senate and block future nominees. So, for me, this is a planned-out situation. Sure, Breyer may be thinking of his age and the highest court does not want another situation as with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
Breyer will not step down before this summer so Democrats are planning a swift confirmation, which will give them leverage to appoint a female Black Justice. There are some good choices out there but as a woman, and as Candace Owen has often said a person should be appointed or hired based on character and experience not the color of their skin or gender. This is how old white men play politics and it is pandering and demeaning to African Americans and I find it reprehensible.
Breyer has been a justice since 1994 and was appointed by President Bill Clinton. Along with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, he opted not to step down the last time the Democrats controlled the White House and the Senate during Barack Obama’s presidency. Smart Justice. He understood what was at stake but I believe there is more going on here than meets the eye. Ginsburg died in September 2020, and then-President Donald Trump filled the vacancy with a conservative justice, Amy Coney Barrett, who has been one of the best appointees to the Supreme Court since Sandra Day O’Connor.
Possible contenders to replace Justice Breyer.
Biden’s pick would be the third Black justice and the sixth woman in the court’s history of more than 230 years. Biden could also be swayed by his liberal base to add professional diversity to a court without any former public defenders or civil rights lawyers.
The White House has been silent about this shortlist, however, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger are the consensus front-runners among Biden’s progressive supporters. It will be interesting to watch how this plays out. To be honest I am saddened Justice Breyer could not stave off his retirement until December of 2024. We need a solid justice system for our nation to continue on as it has over the last 200 years.