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In light of the news that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is planning to retire, Democratic lawmakers are calling for President Biden to abide by his pledge to appoint a black woman to the bench.
News outlets have been reporting the news that Breyer plans to relinquish his seat, though the justice has not made any official announcement about his plans.
“It’s 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 are not going to have additional details,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said
When asked whether Biden will follow through on his pledge should a vacancy arise, Psaki noted that the president plans to honor his commitment to nominate a black woman to serve on the Supreme Court.
Democratic lawmakers are publicly pushing for Biden to nominate a black woman.
“@POTUS you promised us a Black woman on the Supreme Court. Let’s see it happen,” Democratic Rep. Jamaal Bowman of New York tweeted.
“Thank you to Justice Breyer for your years of service to our country on the Supreme Court. Now it’s time for @POTUS to deliver on his promise and make history by nominating a Black woman to the Court,” Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-N.Y.) tweeted.
“Justice Breyer accomplished remarkable things in his tenure with a special talent for building consensus. Now, I hope @POTUS will make good on his promise to make history and nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court,” Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) tweeted.
“@POTUS, it’s time for a Black woman on the Supreme Court,” tweeted Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.).
“It is past time for a Black woman to be named to the Supreme Court,” tweeted Rep. Cori Bush (D-Mo.)
The 83-year-old Breyer, who was nominated by Democratic President Bill Clinton and seated on the court in 1994, is currently the oldest member of the Supreme Court.
If Breyer announces plans to step down, his departure will likely not shift the current composition of the court, which is often described as having a 6-3 conservative majority. President Biden will be able to nominate a replacement and Senate Democrats could then unilaterally approve the pick, without any Republican support.