Home » Stephen Breyer To Retire As Biden Urged To Fulfill Pledge To Pick Black Woman For Supreme Court – Live

Stephen Breyer To Retire As Biden Urged To Fulfill Pledge To Pick Black Woman For Supreme Court – Live

19:50

Biden ‘certainly stands by’ promise to nominate Black woman to supreme court, Psaki says

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, is now holding her daily briefing and taking questions about reports of Stephen Breyer’s plans to retire from the supreme court.

Echoing her message on Twitter earlier today, Psaki emphasized that the White House would not go into detail about a potential nomination process until Breyer makes his plans officials.

“It has always been the decision of any supreme court justice if and when they decide to retire, how they want to announce it, and that remains the case today. So we’re not going to have additional details,” Psaki said at the beginning of her briefing.

But no surprise here: the first question from reporters was still about the Breyer news. A journalist asked Psaki whether Joe Biden intends to follow through on his campaign promise to nominate a Black woman to the court.

“The president has stated and reiterated his commitment to nominating a Black woman to the supreme court and certainly stands by that,” Psaki replied.

“For today, again, I’m just not going to be able to say anything about any specifics until, of course, Justice Breyer makes any announcement should he decide to make an announcement.”

20:05

White House press secretary Jen Psaki has dodged multiple questions about Joe Biden’s potential supreme court nominees and the handling of a theoretical confirmation process.

Two reporters pressed Psaki on whether Kamala Harris would be considered for an open supreme court seat, and while not going into any detail, the press secretary seemed to downplay that possibility.

“The president has every intention, as he said before, of running for reelection and for running for reelection with Vice President Harris on the ticket as his partner,” Psaki said.

CSPAN (@cspan)

[email protected] & @pdoocy ask @PressSec if VP Kamala Harris is being considered for the Supreme Court.

“The president has every intention, as he said before, of running for reelection, and for running for reelection with Vice President Harris on the ticket as his partner.” pic.twitter.com/nBaRLb6pT3

January 26, 2022

19:50

Biden ‘certainly stands by’ promise to nominate Black woman to supreme court, Psaki says

The White House press secretary, Jen Psaki, is now holding her daily briefing and taking questions about reports of Stephen Breyer’s plans to retire from the supreme court.

Echoing her message on Twitter earlier today, Psaki emphasized that the White House would not go into detail about a potential nomination process until Breyer makes his plans officials.

“It has always been the decision of any supreme court justice if and when they decide to retire, how they want to announce it, and that remains the case today. So we’re not going to have additional details,” Psaki said at the beginning of her briefing.

But no surprise here: the first question from reporters was still about the Breyer news. A journalist asked Psaki whether Joe Biden intends to follow through on his campaign promise to nominate a Black woman to the court.

“The president has stated and reiterated his commitment to nominating a Black woman to the supreme court and certainly stands by that,” Psaki replied.

“For today, again, I’m just not going to be able to say anything about any specifics until, of course, Justice Breyer makes any announcement should he decide to make an announcement.”

19:32

Biden deflects questions on Breyer until formal announcement

Joe Biden dodged questions about Stephen Breyer’s reported plans to retire from the supreme court, saying he would wait until the liberal justice made the news official.

Meeting with CEOs at the White House to discuss his economic agenda, Biden initially ignored reporters’ shouted questions about Breyer before offering a comment.

The Washington Post (@washingtonpost)

During an event at the White House on his Build Back Better agenda, Biden declined to address the news of Breyer’s retirement, telling reporters that he will wait until a formal announcement is made. pic.twitter.com/A1OFq4gY26

January 26, 2022

“Every justice has the right and opportunity to decide what he or she is going to do and announce it on their own. There has been no announcement from Justice Breyer,” Biden said moments ago.

“Let him make whatever statement he’s going to make, and I’ll be happy to talk about it later,” the president added.

Biden then kicked off his meeting with CEOs to discuss the Build Back Better Act, Democrats’ $1.75tn spending package that includes major investments in childcare, healthcare and climate initiatives.

The bill has been blocked in the Senate due to opposition from Joe Manchin, but Democrats are looking to restart negotiations and pass a version of the legislation before the midterm elections in November.

19:16

At the White House coronavirus team briefing a little earlier, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, warned of taking a laissez-faire attitude towards the “milder” Omicron variant of Covid-19.

Rochelle Walensky before a hearing on Capitol Hill earlier this month. Photograph: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times/REX/Shutterstock

“Milder does not mean mild,” Walensky said, of the coronavirus variant still raging in the US and many other parts of the world. She added: “Now is the time to do what we know works. Wear a mask, get vaccinated and get boosted.”

At the briefing, it was announced that the US has donated over 400 million vaccine doses to 112 countries, marking a major milestone in the White House’s goal of donating 1.2 billion vaccine doses under Joe Biden’s direction.

White House Covid-19 response coordinator Jeff Zients said that the total donation is four times higher than that of any other country.

Zients also revealed that the country hit another major milestone this week, with 70% of eligible seniors, who are most at risk and most vulnerable, having now received their booster shot. And half of all eligible adults are now boosted.

“This is significant progress as the doctors and data have made crystal clear. Vaccinations and boosters provide the best protection,” Zients said.

Over the past week, the daily averages of cases and hospital admissions have decreased, according to Walensky.

The current seven-day daily average of Covid-19 cases is approximately 692,400 cases per day, a 6% decrease over the previous week. The seven-day average of hospital admissions is around 19,800 per day, an 8% decrease over the previous seek.

However, the seven-day average daily deaths are around 2,200 per day, an increase of around 21% over the previous week.

“These data demonstrate that Covid-19 disease severity appears to be lower with the Omicron variant than with prior variants… Although it’s encouraging that Omicron appears to be causing less severe disease, it is important to remember that we are still facing a high overall burden of disease. Milder does not mean mild,” the director said.

19:00

Hillary Clinton just called Stephen Breyer’s decision to retire “admirable” and his decades of service on the nine-member bench “distinguished”.

Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton)

Thank you to Justice Breyer for 30 years of distinguished service on the bench, and for his admirable decision to retire now. We are grateful for your career dedicated to fairness and justice for all.

January 26, 2022

Breyer was nominated by the former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate’s husband, Bill Clinton, when he was president.

And Senate majority leader and New York Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer has voiced optimism that there won’t be any problem getting Biden’s pick to replace Breyer installed on the hallowed bench.

Daniella Diaz (@DaniellaMicaela)

SCHUMER in a statement: “President Biden’s nominee will receive a prompt hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and will be considered and confirmed by the full United States Senate with all deliberate speed.”

January 26, 2022

18:45

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson a leading contender for Supreme Court seat

Joe Biden nominated Ketanji Brown Jackson to the United States court of appeals for the District of Columbia circuit just last April and now the 51-year-old is widely considered to be a leading contender, if not the frontrunner, to succeed Stephen Breyer on the supreme court.

Ketanji Brown Jackson testifies before Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on pending U.S. judicial nominations on Capitol Hill in Washington last April. Photograph: Kevin Lamarque/Reuters

She was confirmed shortly afterwards with unanimous Democratic support in the Senate and yea votes from three Republicans, Susan Collins of Maine, Lindsey Graham, of South Carolina, and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska.

Igor Bobic (@igorbobic)

apropos of, well, here’s the Senate vote tally confirming Ketanji Brown Jackson to DC circuit.

It’s not determinative of how they would vote for SCOTUS, but here’s the Rs who voted in favor: Collins, Graham, Murkowski https://t.co/ql09ddXaLq

January 26, 2022

Jackson has served as a clerk to Breyer. She was a federal judge on the US district court for DC prior to joining the appeals circuit, and had been nominated to the district court by then-president Barack Obama in 2013.

Here are some other names suggested by Natalie James, who’s running for the senate as a Democrat in Arkansas.

Natalie James for U.S. Senate (@JamesForAR)

With Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer Retiring, what names will Biden pick from his list of potential nominees?
🔹Ketanji Brown Jackson
🔹Leondra Kruger
🔹J. Michelle Childs
🔹Wilhelmina “Mimi”Wright
🔹Eunice Lee
🔹Candace Jackson-Akiwumi
🔹Sherrilyn Ifill

January 26, 2022

Jackson attended Harvard and is married to Patrick Jackson, a surgeon who just so happens to be the twin brother of, stick with us here, the brother-in-law of Paul Ryan, Republican former House Speaker and running mate to Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election (lost to Obama-Biden, obv).

Updated

18:01

Today so far

Here’s where the day stands so far:

  • Supreme court justice Stephen Breyer plans to announce his retirement, according to multiple reports. Breyer’s retirement will give Biden his first supreme court seat to fill, and the president has promised to select a Black woman for the role, which would mark a historic first for the US.
  • Senate Democrats are expected to move quickly to confirm Biden’s supreme court nominee. The party controls the upper chamber and should be able to advance the nomination quickly, although a confirmation would not alter conservatives’ advantage on the bench. Even with Breyer’s replacement confirmed, the six conservative supreme court justices would still outnumber their three liberal colleagues.
  • Officials from France, Germany, Russia and Ukraine are meeting in Paris today, in the latest effort to deescalate tensions along Ukraine’s border. The talks come two days before French President Emmanuel Macron is scheduled to speak to Russian President Vladimir Putin, as the west seeks to avoid a Russian invasion of Ukraine.

The blog will have more coming up, so stay tuned.

17:52

Senate Democrats should theoretically be able to confirm Joe Biden’s nominee to the supreme court relatively easily, even with their narrow majority in the upper chamber.

Since Senate Republicans changed chamber rules in 2017, supreme court nominations are not subject to the filibuster and thus require only a simple majority for confirmation.

As long as Biden’s nominee can secure the support of every Democratic senator, she should be able to get confirmed.

And even Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema, who have presented problems for Biden’s legislative agenda, have generally deferred to the president when it comes to judicial nominees.

17:44

Biden urged to keep promise on supreme court nominee

Patty Murray, a member of the Senate Democratic leadership team, has already released a statement urging Joe Biden to keep his promise about nominating a Black woman to the supreme court.

“The Court should reflect the diversity of our country, and it is unacceptable that we have never in our nation’s history had a Black woman sit on the Supreme Court of the United States—I want to change that,” Murray said.

“There is no shortage of exceptional nominees who would serve with the judgment, qualifications, and ethical standards each Supreme Court Justice should embody—and Black women in America should be able to look at the highest court in the land and finally see themselves represented.”

Murray added that she is “ready to move as quickly as possible to consider and confirm a highly qualified nominee who will break barriers and make history as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court of the United States”.

Updated

17:34

Joe Biden has previously promised that he will select a Black woman to fill the first supreme court vacancy of his presidency.

With that in mind, Ketanji Brown Jackson, who was confirmed to the DC circuit court last year, has been named as a likely contender for the nomination.

Elie Mystal of the Nation noted that Leondra Kruger of the California supreme court Michelle Childs of the South Carolina district court are also likely to be considered for the job.

Elie Mystal (@ElieNYC)

With Breyer stepping down, here are your names:

Ketanji Brown Jackson: D.C. Circuit
Leondra Kruger: California Supreme Court
Michelle Childs: South Carolina District Court

January 26, 2022

17:28

Although Stephen Breyer’s retirement would give Joe Biden his first supreme court seat to fill, it would not alter the ideological split among justices.

As of now, there are six conservative justices and three liberal justices, including Breyer, sitting on the bench.

If Breyer retires, conservatives will maintain their significant advantage on the supreme court, although his departure will give Biden the opportunity to fill the seat with a younger liberal who may serve in the role for decades.

17:21

If Stephen Breyer does indeed announce his retirement, the decision will have massive repercussions for the midterm elections in November.

Senate Democrats will attempt to approve Joe Biden’s supreme court nominee before November, in case the party loses control of the upper chamber after the elections.

If Republicans take control of the chamber, they could block Biden’s nominee from getting confirmed or even receiving a hearing, as Mitch McConnell did when Barack Obama nominated Merrick Garland to the court in 2016.

The high stakes of a supreme court confirmation may also reenergize voters on both ends of the political spectrum, as it underscores the importance of Senate control.

17:14

According to NBC News’ Pete Williams, who broke the news of Stephen Breyer’s planned retirement, the decision is not related to the supreme court justice’s health.

Breyer will turn 84 later this year, and he has served on the court since 1994, so he may have simply decided that it’s time to step down, Williams said.

Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports)

On Breyer retiring, @PeteWilliamsNBC: “As far as we know, it’s nothing to do with the justice’s health. He’s 83, turns 84 in August. He’s certainly in fine health, as far as we know. I think maybe he’s decided that, after 28 years, it’s time for him to move on.” #AMRstaff

January 26, 2022

17:07

The White House would not provide any additional information after reports emerged that liberal supreme court Justice Stephen Breyer intends to announce his retirement.

“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,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Twitter. “We have no additional details or information to share from @WhiteHouse.”

Jen Psaki (@PressSec)

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

January 26, 2022