AP sources: Justice Breyer to retire; Biden to fill vacancy

Stephen Breyer

FILE – Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer listens during a forum at the French Cultural Center in Boston, Feb. 13, 2017. Breyer is retiring, giving President Joe Biden an opening he has pledged to fill by naming the first Black woman to the high court, two sources told The Associated Press Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2022. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Two sources tell The Associated Press that liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring, giving President Joe Biden an opening he has pledged to fill by naming the first Black woman to the high court.

Breyer has been a pragmatic force on a court that has grown increasingly conservative in recent years, trying to forge majorities with more moderate justices right and left of center.

Breyer’s departure won’t change the 6-3 conservative advantage on the court, since his replacement will be nominated and almost certainly confirmed by a Senate where Democrats have the slimmest majority. It also makes conservative Justice Clarence Thomas the oldest member of the court at 73.

Categories: National News, Politics & Elections