Chuck Schumer announces Biden's Supreme Court nominee will be confirmed by the Senate with 'all deliberate speed'




Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, speaks to the media after Senate Democrats met privately with President Joe Biden, Thursday, Jan.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-NY, speaks to the media after Senate Democrats met privately with President Joe Biden, Thursday, Jan.  
  • Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said the Senate will move quickly to confirm a Biden Supreme Court nominee.

  • The announcement came shortly after news broke about Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement.

  • A new Democratic-appointed justice would not change the court's 6-3 conservative majority, but would keep that balance in place. 

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer on Wednesday announced that the Senate will move quickly to confirm a Supreme Court nominee to the bench after news of Justice Stephen Breyer's forthcoming retirement broke.

"President Biden's Supreme Court nominee will receive a prompt hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee and be considered and confirmed by the full United States Senate with all deliberate speed," Schumer said in a statement.

Breyer is set to step down from the bench at the end of the court's term this summer, according to multiple news outlets. The White House and the liberal justice are expected to formally announce his retirement as early as Thursday.

Related video: Fauci accuses Rand Paul of sparking death threats at Senate hearing

Breyer's retirement clears the way for President Joe Biden to appoint his replacement. The news comes after progressives launched a months-long public campaign demanding that Breyer step down while the Senate is still under Democratic control. On the 2020 campaign trail, Biden vowed to put the first Black woman on the nation's highest court. 

A new Democratic-appointed justice would not change the Supreme Court's 6-3 conservative majority, but would keep that balance in place. 

Biden reacted to the news on Wednesday, saying that "there has been no announcement from Justice Breyer" and to "let him make whatever statement he's going to make."

"I'll be happy to talk about it later," the president added.

Breyer, 83, is the oldest member of the court and most senior member of the court's liberal wing. A Bill Clinton appointee, Breyer has served on the bench for nearly 28 years.

Schumer praised Breyer's decades-long judicial experience, saying he "embodies the best qualities and highest ideals of American justice."

"His work and his decisions as an Associate Justice on the biggest issues of our time - including voting rights, the environment, women's reproductive freedom, and most recently, health care and the Affordable Care Act - were hugely consequential," Schumer continued. "America owes Justice Breyer an enormous debt of gratitude."

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