United States President Joe Biden on Jan. 27 reaffirmed his campaign pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the Supreme Court as Justice Stephen Breyer confirmed his retirement.
In a White House ceremony, Biden said that the selection process will be “rigorous” and that he will select a nominee “worthy of Justice Breyer’s legacy of excellency and decency.”
“I’ve made no decisions except one: The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience, and integrity, and that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court,” Biden said in remarks.
Biden said the historic representation was “long overdue” and he intends to announce his decision before the end of February.
Biden also praised Breyer, who confirmed that he will leave at the end of the term, which meant that he has served nearly 28 years on the top court.
“I think he’s a model public servant in a time of great division in this country. Justice Breyer has been everything his country could have asked of him,” Biden said.
In his remarks, Breyer thanked Biden and reflected on his time on the high court.
Breyer also recounted notable figures from the country’s history, including George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.
“This is a complicated country; there are more than 330 million people. And my mother used to say, ‘It’s every race. It’s every religion.’ And she would emphasize this: ‘And it’s every point of view possible,'” Breyer said.
Breyer also expressed optimism for the future, telling the next generation that they will determine whether the “experiment” of “a country that is based on human rights, democracy, and so forth” still works.
“And I’m pretty sure it will,” Breyer said.
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