Stephen Breyer, a liberal Supreme Court judge, is stepping down following 27 years on the seat. His resignation will not alter the court's equilibrium, but it will allow President Joe Biden to leave his mark on it — and secure the appointment of a new, younger judge for future years.
Constitutional law experts believe it's difficult to foresee the court's decisions under a yet-to-be-named and approved nomination. If he's substituted by someone more liberal, his replacement might aggravate the legislature's 6-3 conservative-liberal split, resulting in a greater percentage of judgments made along ideological lines. As a result, more rulings in favor of companies may be made, as conservative judges tend to side with corporations more often than liberal democrats.
Another argument holds that the new judge's legal skills and extensive analytical approach will have a greater effect on future court decisions.
Once a substitute is named, Breyer is anticipated to remain on until the conclusion of the court session. Breyer's choice to leave the Supreme Court was influenced by several considerations, including who he might be replaced by and the date of his retirement.
There aren't nearly so many questions floating over who will replace Breyer. President Biden has stated unequivocally that he will nominate the Woman of color to the Supreme Court.
With few black women serving on federal courts and state supreme courts also failing to reflect the diversity of American society, hypothesis about who will be nominated has quickly focused on three highly qualified candidates: federal judges Ketenji Brown Jackson and J. Michelle Childs, as well as California Supreme Court justice Leondra Kruger. New Jersey State Supreme Court judge Fabiana Pierre-Louis, whose age (she's merely 41), considerable experience as a federal prosecutor, and expertise cracking the New Jersey Supreme Court's glass barrier will surely earn her at least a nomination.
Breyer's decision inspired several court observers to reflect on his career. Almost all of them have praised his judicial work as demonstrating a practical and consensus-building approach. No account, on the other hand, has concentrated on what may be Breyer's most remarkable and lasting judicial trait: his unwavering regard for and belief in political institutions, particularly US Congress.
Breyer's decision to step down comes as a relief to liberal Democrats after Republicans used extraordinary measures to get three of President Donald Trump's nominees through the Senate. Indeed, numerous liberal groups openly asked Breyer to step down last year, including staging a protest in front of the Supreme Court. Justice, on the other hand, was hesitant. He told NPR in an interview that “Deciding when to retire was a difficult decision "It's made up of a lot of intricate components. I believe I am aware of most of them and will consider them."
Build An Engaging App For Free
The court's term is coming to a conclusion
His choice to stay on for another year was most certainly influenced by the big topics the court was about to address, including abortion, weapons, separation of religion and state, and maybe affirmative action. He has strong opinions about all of these issues, and he hoped that his 27 years on the court would help him resist a rightward tilt. He had exactly that function in the 2020 term.
However, when compromise seemed to evade even his deft hand this term, the 83-year-old jurist decided it was time to retire. "I don't want to stay on the Supreme Court until I die," he said in an NPR interview in September.
The court's term is set to finish this summer, and he'll likely step down at that time.