Justice Stephen Breyer to retire on Thursday, making way for Ketanji Brown Jackson

2FBCWB3 USA. 23rd Apr, 2021. Associate Justice Stephen Breyer sits during a group photo of the Justices at the Supreme Court in Washington, DC on April 23, 2021. (Photo by Erin Schaff/Pool/Sipa USA) Credit: Sipa USA/Alamy Live News

Photo: Alamy

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will step down from the court on Thursday at noon, according to a letter he sent to the White House on Wednesday.

“This past January, I wrote to inform you of my intent to retire from regular active service as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, upon the Court rising for its summer recess,” Breyer, 83, wrote in the letter addressed to “The President.”

“You have nominated and the United States Senate has confirmed the Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson to succeed me in the office,” the veteran justice continued, “and I understand that she is prepared to take the prescribed oaths to begin her service as the 116th member of this Court.”

In closing his letter, Breyer wrote, “It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law.” 

An appointee of former President Bill Clinton, Breyer joined the court in 1994, making him the second-longest serving active justice behind Justice Clarence Thomas

Breyer’s retirement will take effect after the court hands down its remaining opinions for the term Thursday morning.

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