Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of the Court’s current term, NBC News reported Wednesday.
His successor is expected to sit on the Court by the beginning of its next term in October, according to the outlet. Breyer, who is 83 years old, was appointed to the Court by President Bill Clinton in 1994. He is the longest-serving member of the Court’s liberal bloc and the second-longest serving current member after Associate Justice Clarence Thomas.
The White House declined to comment on the announcement, with White House press secretary Jen Psaki saying that she “ha[s] no additional details or information to share.”
It has always been the decision of any Supreme Court Justice if and when they decide to retire, and how they want to announce it, and that remains the case today. We have no additional details or information to share from @WhiteHouse
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) January 26, 2022
During the 2020 presidential campaign, President Joe Biden promised to place an African American woman on the Supreme Court.
In recent months, left-wing activists have called on Breyer to announce a retirement plan. The group Demand Justice, which is made up of former Obama administration officials, has been at the forefront of the pressure campaign, even renting a billboard truck with the words “Breyer, Retire” emblazoned on the side. The group noted the 2020 death of liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who was replaced by conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett, and expressed concern that Breyer would also be replaced by a conservative.
Like many of the current justices, Breyer has repeatedly spoken out against court-packing, arguing that it would diminish public “confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself.” (RELATED: Biden ‘Has Not Dodged’ Court Packing Question, Just ‘Not Going To Answer,’ Says Campaign Co-Chairman)
“What goes around comes around,” he said in September. “And if the Democrats can do it, then the Republicans can do it.”
This is a breaking news story and will be updated as more information becomes available.