Stephen Breyer, the U.S. Supreme Court Justice, Retires on Thursday after Trying to Save Roe v. Wade

New York Culture

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Jim Young via Reuters

Stephen Breyer, a long-standing Supreme Court Justice, retired on Thursday, June 30th, 2022, only a few days short of his appointment anniversary. Democratic President Bill Clinton appointed Justice Breyer on August 3rd, 1994, meaning he retired a few days before celebrating 28 years on the Supreme Court bench.

Breyer, who is 83, was the oldest justice on the bench. He announced his retirement in January after being pressured to retire to pave the way for a younger, more progressive justice. Breyer refused to leave Supreme Court last year, saying he would retire on his own terms.

He Tried to Keep Roe v. Wade Alive

Justice Stephen Breyer was one of four justices who voted against striking down the critical Roe v. Wade ruling granting women access to abortions. Roe v. Wade was overturned earlier this month, with some states already banning abortions.

He wasn't the only one who attempted to keep Roe v. Wade alive, as three other justices voted the same way: Sonia Sotomayor, Elena Kagan and John Roberts, Jr.

Who is His Replacement?

Breyer is set to be replaced by Ketanji Brown Jackson, a former judge of the United States District Court for the District of Columbia for eight years.

Brown Jackson will be the very first Black Supreme Court Justice and the first justice appointed by President Joe Biden. Ketanji is only the sixth woman to serve in Supreme Court, and once appointed, it would be the first time the Supreme Court has four female justices out of nine in total.

Interestingly, Brown Jackson used to clerk for Justice Breyer between 1999 and 2000.

Conclusion

The Democrats have been pressuring Stephen Breyer to retire, which is questionable. Having that said, Justice Breyer has been in his position for almost 30 years. I suppose it's time to give another justice a shot.

This appointment marks a milestone for the African-American community in the United States because the Supreme Court has not had a Black justice before. Not to mention, it's great to see a trend of more women taking crucial roles such as this one.

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