It’s official: Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will be stepping down on Thursday, after the court releases its final two rulings for the current term.
Breyer, 83, who was appointed to be an associate justice of the highest court in the land by President Bill Clinton in 1994, announced his pending retirement earlier this year.
““It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law.””
In his letter to President Joe Biden on Wednesday, Breyer confirmed that after the Supreme Court hands down its remaining opinions for the term, his retirement from active service will be in effect at noon ET.
“It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law,” he wrote.
Breyer will be replaced by Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, who currently sits on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Senate confirmed Biden’s nominee in April, and she will be making history as the first Black woman on the Supreme Court.
Jackson, 51, was actually once a law clerk for Breyer, and the outgoing justice wrote in his resignation letter Wednesday that “she is prepared to take the prescribed oaths to begin her service as the 116th member of this court.”
It was not immediately known just when she would be sworn in.
Breyer was one of three liberal SCOTUS Justices, along with Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, who dissented to the court’s controversial decision to overturn 50 years of precedent by overturning Roe v. Wade last week, which had legalized abortion across the U.S.
“After today, young women will come of age with fewer rights than their mothers and grandmothers had,” they wrote, noting that “above all others, women lacking financial resources will suffer from today’s decision.”