Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to Retire at Noon Thursday; Ketanji Brown Jackson to Be Sworn in at Same Time

The Supreme Court announced Wednesday that Associate Justice Stephen Breyer,83, will retire at noon Thursday after the court issues its final decisions for the 2021-2022 session. Breyer was forced to announce his retirement in January of this year after a pressure campaign by progressives and the leak of his private decision to retire that he was not yet ready to announce. Breyer was nominated to the court in 1994 by President Bill Clinton.

Breyer’s replacement, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, will be sworn it at the same time as Breyer retires. Jackson, who was appointed by Joe Biden to fulfill a campaign promise of nominating a Black woman to the court, was confirmed by the Senate on April 7 on a near party line vote of 53-47.

Breyer’s letter reads:

Dear Mr. President,

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

The Court has announced that tomorrow, beginning at 10 a.m., it will hand down all remaining opinions ready during this Term. Accordingly, my retirement from active service under the provisions of 28 U.S.C. § 371(b) will be effective on Thursday, June 30, 2022, at noon.

It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law.

Yours sincerely,

Stephen Breyer

The Supreme Court issued a statement Wednesday afternoon announcing a simple swearing-in ceremony for Jackson.

The Honorable Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in as the 104th Associate Justice of the Supreme Court on Thursday, June 30, at noon at the Supreme Court of the United States. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., will administer the Constitutional Oath and Associate Justice Stephen G. Breyer will administer the Judicial Oath in a ceremony in the West Conference Room before a small gathering of Judge Jackson’s family.

The ceremony will be streamed live on the homepage of the Court’s website, www.supremecourt.gov.

A formal investiture ceremony will take place at a special sitting of the Court in the Courtroom at a later date.

The announcements on Supreme Court stationary were released to reporters.

Joe Biden is in Spain attending a NATO summit that is scheduled to end Thursday.

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