Justice Breyer to Retire

Justice Breyer in 1994 (Provided by Getty Images)

Selina Tang and Mustang Staff

After serving almost 30 years on the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer (83 years old) will retire at the end of this term. Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (51 yrs old) of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit is considered a top contender to replace Breyer’s position on the Supreme Court. Jackson previously clerked for Breyer in 1999 and replaced Judge Merrick Garland on the DC Circuit when Garland was promoted to US attorney general. Jackson is from Miami and graduated from Harvard College.

US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer adminsters the oath of office to District Court Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson while Jackson’s husband, Patrick, holds the Bible in 2013 (Provided by ALM) (Diego Radzinschi)

California SC Justice Leondra Kruger was another judge being considered to fill the new vacancy. During his presidential campaign, President Biden promised to name a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

In 2015 Breyer voiced his opposition to the death penalty stating that it violates the Eighth Amendment reports Melissa Quinn of CBS News.

When Breyer announced his retirement, President Biden stated that Breyer was a justice who was “fair to the parties before him, courteous to his colleagues, careful in his reasoning. He’s written landmark opinions on topics ranging from reproductive rights to healthcare, to voting rights, to patent laws, to laws protecting our environment, and the laws that protect our religious practices.” Biden has been consulting with Republican Sens. Susan Collins, Lisa Murkowski, and Mitt Romney in the nomination process to select a candidate with bipartisan support.

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (Provided by Getty Images) (Kevin Lamarque)