Justice Stephen Breyer retires after 28 years of service to his country. Nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994, Breyer served his country for the last 28 years. The 83-year-old announced his retirement Wednesday, at the end of the 2021-2022 session. Even though he rejected the label, Breyer is known as a member of the more liberal branch of the Supreme Court.
Although the Supreme Court was created as the single apolitical branch of the government, it has become increasingly politicized. Therefore, it is paramount that President Joe Biden’s choice is a liberal. Today, the court is unbalanced; it comprises six conservatives, five of whom are extremists, one moderate, Chief Justice John Roberts, and three liberals.
President Biden has multiple choices, but many progressive members of the Democratic Party have some interesting and specific suggestions for Breyer’s replacement.
During his campaign, President Biden promised that he would select a Black woman to fill the following vacancy on the Supreme Court. Senator Patty Murray (D-Wash.) reminded him of his promise:
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.
One likely contender is U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, and a former Breyer law clerk. Jackson grew up in Miami, Florida. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, in government from Harvard College and a Juris Doctor, cum laude, from Harvard Law School, where she was an editor of the Harvard Law Review, according to SCOTUSblog. However, there are several more qualified Black judges in America.
Breyer’s successor must be mindful of the Supreme Court’s daunting task. It will face multiple critical decisions in the near future, affecting the country’s direction in the 21st century.
There have been 113 men and women on the Supreme Court. Only two justices have been Black Americans, Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and the latter has sided with whites most of the time. Black women have led the liberal cause for decades and received little or no respect from Democratic leadership. The U.S government pays little attention to the changing racial landscape.
Mainstream media often fails to report that America is becoming a more diverse nation at a much faster pace than previously expected by sociologists. Baby boomers are dying at a quicker rate than anticipated. In a very short time, pure whites will become a minority. Notably, women continue to dominate the population by 51%. The average age of all Americans is 38.2.
The 2018 and 2020 elections proved that women are taking control of the nation. Old, white men have failed our country for 246 years, and it is time for real change. In those two elections, more women were registered than men. In addition, more women filed for local, state, and federal elections than men. It is also important to note that in 2022 more women will be registered in American colleges and universities than men.
Without more women and diverse Americans in all three branches of the government, the nation’s people are not adequately represented.
Former President Donald Trump’s nearly all-white administration proved once and for all that white supremacy is an illusion created by mostly Christian, white racists, and bigots. Likewise, today’s Congress is the oldest and most corrupt in history. The truth is, the United States government is completely dysfunctional.
The American dream of the Founding Fathers can only continue if the government serves all of the nation’s people.
A Black woman succeeding Breyer on the Supreme Court would be a positive step forward for Americans.
Op-ed by James Turnage
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware
NBC News: Justice Stephen Breyer to retire from Supreme Court, paving way for Biden appointment; by Pete Williams
Daily Kos: We need to replace Justice Breyer with the Court’s first Black woman, and the shortlist is fierce! By Rebekah Sager
SCOTUSblog: Stephen Breyer, pragmatic liberal, will retire at end of term; by Amy Howe
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First Inset Image Courtesy of Matt Bargar’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Second Inset Image by Paul Morigi’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License