Jan 26, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Schumer vows to confirm Breyer replacement "with all deliberate speed"

Chuck Schumer

Chuck Schumer. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer responded Wednesday to reports that Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire, commending his time on the bench and promising to confirm President Biden's nominated replacement "with all deliberate speed."

Why it matters: The opportunity to appoint a new Supreme Court justice will be one of the longest-lasting pieces of Biden's legacy and could energize Democrats ahead of the midterms.

What he's saying: "For virtually his entire adult life, including a quarter century on the U.S. Supreme Court, Stephen Breyer has served his country with the highest possible distinction.  He is, and always has been, a model jurist," Schumer said in a statement.

  • "He embodies the best qualities and highest ideals of American justice:  knowledge, wisdom, fairness, humility, restraint," he added.
  • "His work and his decisions as an Associate Justice on the biggest issues of our time – including voting rights, the environment, women’s reproductive freedom, and most recently, health care and the Affordable Care Act – were hugely consequential."
  • "America owes Justice Breyer an enormous debt of gratitude."
  • "President Biden’s nominee will receive a prompt hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee, and will be considered and confirmed by the full United States Senate with all deliberate speed," he concluded.

Worth noting: Schumer's promise was echoed by Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

  • “I look forward to moving the President’s nominee expeditiously through the Committee," Durbin said in a tweet.

Go deeper: Liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire

Editor's note: This story has been updated with Durbin's comment.

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