Ever since Donald Trump appointed Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court in the closing days of his presidency before losing the 2020 election to Joe Biden, many have wondered whether or not the high court is now tilted to the right for decades.
But based on a report from Politico, Biden may be appointing his first justice very soon, provided that one of the court’s most senior members decides to retire later this year:
“Justice Stephen Breyer is 82 and Democrats are a single Senate seat away from ceding control back to Republicans. It’s a familiar and uncomfortable bind for a party that barely nudged former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire the last time they controlled both the Senate and the White House — then watched the Supreme Court veer to the right.”
No one is actively urging Breyer to step down from the court, but there are some in Congress who wonder if he wants his replacement to be appointed by a Democratic or Republican president, with Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) remarking:
Another Democratic senator said it would be ideal if Breyer does decide to leave the court now while the Senate has a 50-50 split and Vice President Kamala Harris can make sure a replacement is confirmed:
While debate over whether or not Breyer would be wise to leave the court now continues, President Biden has made it clear that he’s open to the idea of expanding its membership from nine justices to several more, appointing a bipartisan commission to study what changes should be made to the highest court in the land. He has also made it clear that his first nominee will be a black woman, which would be a historic first.
Meanwhile, we’ll all just have to wait and see what Justice Breyer decides.