Biden to nominate Breyer replacement by end of February

Mr Biden has pledged to nominate a Black woman to serve on the nation’s highest court

Andrew Feinberg
Washington, DC
Thursday 27 January 2022 18:28
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Biden to nominate Breyer replacement by end of February
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President Biden has announced that he will nominate his Supreme Court pick to succeed Justice Stephen Breyer by the end of February.

Mr Breyer, the high court’s most senior liberal justice, gave notice of his intent to retire from active service after more than four decades on the federal bench in a letter to Mr Biden on Thursday. He was first nominated to a federal judgeship by then-President Jimmy Carter in 1980 and was elevated to the Supreme Court by Bill Clinton in 1994.

Speaking alongside Mr Breyer from the White House’s Roosevelt Room, Mr Biden said he has not yet selected a successor to the retiring justice, but would “study the records and former cases” of potential nominees “carefully” and meet with each candidate before announcing a decision at the end of next month.

“Our process is going to be rigorous,” he said, adding that once he selects a nominee he will ask the US Senate — which must confirm his selection — to “act promptly” to fill Mr Breyer’s seat. He also promised to solicit “ideas and points of view” from senators of both political parties and prominent legal scholars, as well as Vice President Kamala Harris, a former member of the Senate Judiciary Committee who drew acclaim in liberal circles for her pointed questioning of former president Donald Trump’s three picks for the high court.

During his campaign for the presidency, Mr Biden pledged to nominate the first Black woman to serve on Supreme Court if a vacancy opened during his term in office.

Referring to that campaign promise, the president said the choice of a Black woman was “long overdue,” and reiterated his intention to “nominate a historic candidate” who is “worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy”.

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