Biden to get first Supreme Court pick as Justice Breyer retires

Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer in 2017
Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer in 2017 Copyright AP Photo/Steven Senne, File
Copyright AP Photo/Steven Senne, File
By Euronews with AP
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Joe Biden will be able to name a new judge on the US Supreme Court. He has pledged to nominate the first black woman to the nation's highest court.


US President Joe Biden will nominate his first judge to the Supreme Court after the retirement of Justice Stephen Breyer.

Biden promised during his election campaign that he would nominate a black woman to the US' highest court and the White House reiterated that on Wednesday. Such a move would be historic.

Once Biden picks a nominee, Democrats said they will move to confirm the person quickly with their slim majority in the Senate.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said 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”.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will vet the nominee and hold confirmation hearings that typically extend over three days. The full Senate will vote on the nominee once the committee approves the nomination.

Republicans changed the Senate rules during the Trump administration to allow simple majority confirmation of Supreme Court nominees.

Justice Breyer has served on the Supreme Court since 1994 after being nominated by President Bill Clinton.

His retirement will not change the balance of the court, currently 6-3 with a conservative advantage. The 83-year-old justice worked to forge majorities with more moderate justices right and left of centre.

Clarence Thomas, 73, will now become the oldest member of the Supreme Court.

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