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Retiring Justice Stephen Breyer will make way for Vice President Joe Biden to have an essential role in the future of the Supreme Court. The conservative majority of this Court has been strong on many issues, including abortion & gun rights.

Trump’s Republican predecessor Biden was able to choose three justices during his four years in office.

Democrats in the Senate currently have a razor-thin majority- 50 out of 100 senators. As only a simple majority is needed, they need to support his nomination. 

While they can choose not to, that would allow a more conservative judge to get nominated.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said that I would “promptly receive a hearing” and be confirmed without dragging things out.

The Democrats are in a bit of a hurry. Republican Senate members want to take back control of the Senate by winning the November 8. The chamber’s top Republican, Mitch McConnell, has made it clear that he would block any Biden nominations to the Court if they were made until next year.

About Stephen Breyer

Stephen Breyer was born in San Francisco, California and raised in a Jewish family. He graduated from Stanford University and Harvard Law School.

He served in the United States Department of Justice during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations. In 1970, he became an Associate Professor of Law at Harvard Law School.

In 1973, he became a full Professor of Law at Harvard Law School. In 1977, he was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit by President Jimmy Carter, where he served until his appointment to the Supreme Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994.

He is currently serving his second term on the Supreme Court of the United States, which began on September 26, 1994, after being unanimously confirmed by the Senate before being sworn-in on October 3, 1994

Judicial Career of Stephen Breyer 

U.S. Court of Appeals (1980–1994)

Justice Stephen Breyer: The Court And The World, 1:14:57, WGBH Forum Network

In November 1980, after President Carter’s defeat in his re-election bid.

he nominated Stephen  Breyer to the First Circuit Court of Appeals, filling a new seat established by legislation just passed.

Breyer served as a judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit from December 10, 1980, to 1994, and was the Chief Judge from 1990 to 1994.

The chief judge can be a demanding profession, and it’s easy for people to put their hobbies on the back burner. 

Thankfully, he can do both as his duties as a chief judge included overseeing the design & construction of a new federal courthouse for Boston and his hobby of designing architecture.

Breyer served on the United States Sentencing Commission between 1985-1989. He helped reform federal criminal sentencing guidelines during this period. 

Producing the Federal Sentencing Guidelines was formulated to increase uniformity in sentencing.

Supreme Court services of Stephen Breyer (1994–present)

Bill Clinton considered him for the vacant seat before appointing Ruth Bader Ginsburg in 1993. Still, after the retirement of Harry Blackmun, he nominated Stephen  Breyer to be an associate justice of the Supreme Court in 1994.

Breyer was confirmed by the Senate on July 29, 1994, by an 87 to 9 vote and received his commission on August 3.

He was the 2nd-longest serving junior justice in the history of the Court, which means he’s closing in on a major milestone. In 1812, Associate Justice Joseph Story served for 4,228 days (February 3 to September 1). If he keeps this up, they’ll be setting new records.

Breyer just barely missed the record during the term that ended on March 1, 2006, which would have surpassed it had one current justice not been sworn in earlier during the same term. 

Without Ruth’s addition to 1984’s class, there was a chance Stephen  Breyer would break this record now as he is now the eldest sitting justice left.

Breyer broke federal law in 2015 when he took cases he had a financial interest in. A judge cannot hear cases if they or any family is interested in the company affected.

His wife sold about $33,000 worth of stock in Johnson Controls the day after he had already participated in the oral argument.

Since this suit was brought in his district, retiring judge Reynoldson sided with the majority opinion in the case of FERC v. Electric Power Supply Association


In an August 2021 New York Times interview, Stephen  Breyer indicated that he wished to retire before his death and recounted his conversation with Justice Antonin Scalia. Scalia mentioned that he did not want his successor to “reverse everything I’ve done for the last 25 years”.

Breyer said that activists are calling for him to resign must be on his mind because of what happened with Justice Scalia. In a September interview with Fox News’s Chris Wallace, Stephen  Breyer said activists are “entitled to their opinion” and “I do have some concern about balance I wouldn’t retire”.

He has ensured that he has taken several factors into account to decide his retirement plans and reassured us that he does not intend to “die on the court”. On January 26, 2022, news outlets reported Breyer’s intention to retire from the Supreme Court at the end of the 2020 term.

But now, in 2022, USA president Biden declared that he would appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court. Here’s who he might choose to take Breyer’s place.

So this is now finally becoming the retirement of Stephen Breyer.

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