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Stephen Breyer news - latest: Biden stands by Black woman justice pledge as party outlines one month timetable

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Oliver O'Connell
New York
Thursday 27 January 2022 05:28
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President Joe Biden speaks to reporters about Judge Breyer retiring

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is expected to announce his retirement as soon as Thursday, NBC News reported. This gives President Joe Biden an opportunity to replace one of the court’s three Democrat appointees and bolster the court’s liberal wing.

Democrats hoped Mr Breyer, who is 83 years old, would retire while they hold the majority in the Senate before the 2022 midterm elections, since Republicans are expected to win the majority.

In response to shouted questions from the press, President Joe Biden said: “Every justice has the right to decide what he or she is going to do and announce it on their own... There has been no announcement from Justice Breyer. Let him make whatever statement he’s going to make and I’ll be happy to talk about later.”

The White House says the president will stick by his commitment to nominate a Black woman to the court, and Senate Majority Leader Schumer will seek a quick one-month turnaround on the appointment.

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Biography: Justice Stephen Breyer

Justice Breyer was born in San Francisco, California, on 15 August 1938. He married Joanna Hare in 1967, and has three children — Chloe, Nell, and Michael.

He received an AB from Stanford University, a BA from Magdalen College, Oxford, and an LLB from Harvard Law School.

Mr Breyer served as a law clerk to Justice Arthur Goldberg of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1964 Term, as a Special Assistant to the Assistant US Attorney General for Antitrust, 1965–1967, as an Assistant Special Prosecutor of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, 1973, as Special Counsel of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, 1974–1975, and as Chief Counsel of the committee, 1979–1980.

He was an Assistant Professor, Professor of Law, and Lecturer at Harvard Law School, 1967–1994, a Professor at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, 1977–1980, and a Visiting Professor at the College of Law, Sydney, Australia and at the University of Rome.

From 1980–1990, he served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as its Chief Judge, 1990–1994. He also served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1990–1994, and of the United States Sentencing Commission, 1985–1989.

President Bill Clinton nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat 3 August 1994. He was the second Supreme Court nomination of the Clinton presidency after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993.

Oliver O'Connell27 January 2022 05:28
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Voices: Biden needs to keep his promise now that Breyer has accepted what RBG could not

The president said he’d put the first Black woman on the Court during his candidacy. Considering his recent failure on voting rights, it’s important to remind him of that now, writes Michael Arceneaux.

Stephen Breyer has accepted what RBG couldn’t. Now Biden needs to keep his promise

The president said he’d put the first Black woman on the Court during his candidacy. Considering his recent failure on voting rights, it’s important to remind him of that now

Oliver O'Connell27 January 2022 04:32
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Who is Ketanji Brown Jackson the top contender to replace Breyer?

When President Joe Biden announced a slate of judicial nominations on 29 March last year, one nomination to the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia stood out to veteran court-watchers.

Mr Biden’s pick for the seat once held by current US Attorney General Merrick Garland was US District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, a Florida native and double Harvard graduate (undergraduate and law school) who had been named to the federal bench by then-president Barack Obama in 2013.

She is now hotly tipped to be nominated to the nation’s highest court.

Andrew Feinberg reports.

Who will be Biden’s first Supreme Court pick?

Ms Jackson would be the first Black woman on the Supreme Court

Oliver O'Connell27 January 2022 03:36
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Democrats want swift confirmation of Breyer replacement

Senate Democrats who have played defense for the last three Supreme Court vacancies plan to move swiftly to replace retiring Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, using the rapid 2020 confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett as a new standard.

Justice Barrett was confirmed exactly a month after then-President Donald Trump nominated her to replace the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — and just five weeks after Ginsburg’s death in September of that year. Democrats sharply criticised that timeline then, arguing that most confirmations had taken much longer and that Republicans were trying to jam the nomination through in case Trump lost reelection.

But now that they hold the presidency and the Senate, though just barely, Democrats navigating the complicated politics of a 50-50 chamber are eyeing a similarly swift schedule, even if Breyer does not officially step down until the summer.

AP

Oliver O'Connell27 January 2022 02:32
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How are justices appointed to the Supreme Court?

News that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer plans to announce his retirement sent shockwaves through Washington and ended GOP hopes that the next court vacancy would occur while Republicans controlled the Senate.

The court underwent significant changes under the Trump administration, when over the course of four years, president Donald Trump oversaw the confirmation of three new justices to the bench, a third of the total bench, shifting the makeup of the court firmly to the right.

Mr Breyer’s retirement during the reign of a Democratic president means that the court’s overall make up will not change, for now. Thanks to the rules of the Senate, Mr Biden will be able to confirm his replacement in the months ahead, should he be able to unify the Democratic Senate caucus.

John Bowden reports.

What is the political make up of the Supreme Court, and how are justices selected?

The US Senate can confirm Stephen Breyer’s replacement without a single Republican vote

Oliver O'Connell27 January 2022 01:35
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Why Justice Breyer is stepping down from Supreme Court after rebuffing calls to retire

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer spent the last year fighting to keep the polarisation and politicisation that have swept through American politics out of the judiciary. But his decision to retire with the Senate under Democratic control reflects a recognition that his heartfelt efforts had to give way to political reality.

Andrew Feinberg reports from Washington, DC.

Why Stephen Breyer is stepping down after rebuffing calls to retire

The retirement of the high court’s longest-serving liberal justice shows he isn’t ignorant of this moment in history

Oliver O'Connell27 January 2022 00:39
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Justice Stephen Breyer expected to announce retirement

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is expected to announce his retirement, NBC News reported, which gives President Joe Biden an opportunity to replace one of the court’s three liberals and maintain the balance of the highest federal court in the US.

Democrats had hoped Mr Breyer, 83, would retire while they hold the majority in the Senate before the 2022 midterm elections, since Republicans are expected to win the majority.

Eric Garcia reports.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer expected to announce retirement

Justice Breyer expected to announce retirement

Oliver O'Connell26 January 2022 23:40
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Biography: Justice Stephen Breyer

Justice Breyer was born in San Francisco, California, on 15 August 1938. He married Joanna Hare in 1967, and has three children — Chloe, Nell, and Michael.

He received an AB from Stanford University, a BA from Magdalen College, Oxford, and an LLB from Harvard Law School.

Mr Breyer served as a law clerk to Justice Arthur Goldberg of the Supreme Court of the United States during the 1964 Term, as a Special Assistant to the Assistant US Attorney General for Antitrust, 1965–1967, as an Assistant Special Prosecutor of the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, 1973, as Special Counsel of the US Senate Judiciary Committee, 1974–1975, and as Chief Counsel of the committee, 1979–1980.

He was an Assistant Professor, Professor of Law, and Lecturer at Harvard Law School, 1967–1994, a Professor at the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government, 1977–1980, and a Visiting Professor at the College of Law, Sydney, Australia and at the University of Rome.

From 1980–1990, he served as a Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, and as its Chief Judge, 1990–1994. He also served as a member of the Judicial Conference of the United States, 1990–1994, and of the United States Sentencing Commission, 1985–1989.

President Bill Clinton nominated him as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, and he took his seat 3 August 1994. He was the second Supreme Court nomination of the Clinton presidency after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993.

Oliver O'Connell26 January 2022 23:00
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Manchin and Sinema expected to vote for whoever Joe Biden picks

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s impending retirement gives PresidentJoe Biden one of the most prized opportunities any president has: a chance to nominate a Supreme Court justice who will likely serve long after he has left the White House.

But given that Democrats have only a 50-seat majority with Vice President Kamala Harris as the tiebreaker, many of them are probably already dreading how conservative Democratic Sens Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona would vote.

Eric Garcia reports from Washington, DC.

Ignore the noise: Manchin and Sinema will likely confirm Biden’s Supreme Court pick

Both Senators have been consistent in voting to confirm Biden’s judicial nominations, including both potential picks to replace Breyer

Oliver O'Connell26 January 2022 22:37
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How old are the current Supreme Court justices?

From oldest to youngest, the current bench of Supreme Court justices and the year they joined the court.

Stephen Breyer (83) - 1994

Clarence Thomas (73) - 1991

Samuel Alito (71) - 2006

Sonia Sotomayor (67) - 2009

John Roberts (66) - 2005

Elena Kagan (61) - 2010

Brett Kavanaugh (56) - 2018

Neil Gorsuch (54) - 2017

Amy Coney Barrett (49) - 2020

Oliver O'Connell26 January 2022 22:20

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