Justice Stephen Breyer of the United States Supreme Court is retiring after more than two decades on the nation’s highest court, according to Supreme Court and Biden administration officials. On Thursday, Breyer is set to make the announcement at the White House.
Professorial, practical, and somewhat liberal, Breyer penned many of the court’s less-famous but legally significant opinions and worked behind the scenes to develop consensus for centrist rulings on a conservative court.
With Breyer’s retirement, President Biden will have his first opportunity to appoint a new Supreme Court justice. During the 2020 campaign, he promised that if he was elected, he would name a Black woman to the presidency. Federal Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was on President Barack Obama’s shortlist for the court in 2016, and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, who worked as an assistant and then deputy solicitor general in both Democratic and Republican administrations before being nominated to the state’s highest court, are said to be the two leading contenders.
In terms of Supreme Court appointments, both women are in their early twenties. Jackson is 51 years old, while Kruger is 45. And they both have impressive legal backgrounds.