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Justice Stephen Breyer Stepping Down by Isabel S.

Justice Stephen Breyer will step down from the Supreme Court at the end of the current term. He has served the high court for nearly three decades and, at 83, is the oldest court member. His announced retirement has brought President Biden his first chance to name a new justice on the court. President Biden announced the nomination of federal judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson, to replace retiring Justice Stephen Breyer. Jackson currently sits on Washington, D.C’s federal appellate court.

Stephen Breyer was born in San Francisco, California, on August 15, 1938. His father worked as a legal counsel for the San Francisco Board of Education, and his mother’s work focused mainly on public service. From an early age, Breyer was exposed to political activity and law. Breyer attended Lowell High School, then, in 1955, was accepted into Stanford, where he studied philosophy. Breyer graduated from Stanford in 1959 and pursued his studies in philosophy as well as economics at Magdalen College at Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar. He graduated from Magdalen College in 1961 with First Class Honors. Breyer later returned to the United States to attend Harvard Law School. Three years later, he graduated magna cum laude.


He had a great amount of experience in the law industry before he was nominated by President Clinton as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court. He took his oath to the Supreme Court of the United States on August 3, 1994.


Breyer’s judicial philosophy was characterized as concern for consequences. He was known as the most pragmatic on the bench, and called for strict readings of the Constitution; he was also generally regarded as moderately liberal.


Federal Judge, Ketanji Brown Jackson attended Harvard University graduating magna cum laude, she then attended Harvard Law School graduating cum laude. Jackson also clerked for Breyer and was a commissioner on the US Sentencing Commission. Jackson was appointed to serve on the federal district court in DC by President Barack Obama.

Now that President Biden has nominated Jackson, he will look for the Senate’s consent to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court.


Breyer is an extraordinary individual who had a huge impact on the U.S. Supreme Court. Jackson would bring a diverse background and would join the liberal minority of the conservative dominated court. She would make history by being the first black woman to serve our nation’s highest court, if confirmed.

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