Liberal U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has announced that he will step down from the high court, effective Thursday at noon.
Breyer, who notified President Joe Biden back in January that he would retire at the end of the current term, released a letter on Wednesday stating that he will officially retire after the Court issues its final opinions of the term on Thursday.
“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,” Breyer wrote.
“It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law,” Breyer wrote.
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson was nominated by Biden and confirmed by the U.S. Senate earlier this year to replace Breyer. She will begin hearing cases once the next term begins in October.
The Supreme Court has delivered several high-profile rulings in the last week.
The Court delivered a big win to veterans on Wednesday, ruling 5-4 that states cannot invoke sovereign immunity to block lawsuits by veterans who want to reclaim prior jobs with state employers.
On Tuesday, the Court sided with the Louisiana state legislature by allowing the state’s Republican-drawn congressional map to remain in place.
A federal judge had previously ruled the map violated the Voting Rights Act and ordered lawmakers to redraw the state’s six congressional districts to include two in which Black voters were in the majority.
In a 6-3 ruling, the Court said it would wait until next term to rule on the matter given there’s a similar case from Alabama scheduled to be argued next term, which begins in October.
Last Friday, the Supreme Court delivered its long-awaited ruling on a case involving a former Seattle-area football coach who was fired from his job because he refused to stop praying on the field with players.
The nation’s highest court sided with the high school football coach in the crucial First Amendment case.
When the school district learned that Kennedy was praying with the team, they told him that he could pray separately from the students. Kennedy declined to change his practice, was put on paid leave, and then filed a lawsuit.
And, of course, the most notable ruling came last Friday when the Supreme Court released its decision in the highly-anticipated case of Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization.
The Court voted in favor of overturning Roe v Wade, the landmark case that legalized abortion.
In early May, a draft majority opinion written by Justice Samuel Alito was leaked to Politico and it set off a firestorm.
“Roe was egregiously wrong from the start,” Alito writes.
“We hold that Roe and Casey must be overruled,” he writes in the document. “It is time to heed the Constitution and return the issue of abortion to the people’s elected representatives.”
“We, therefore, hold the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion. Roe and Casey must be overruled, and the authority to regulate abortion must be returned to the people and their elected representatives,” Alito writes in the document, labeled the “Opinion of the Court.”
Soon after Alito’s draft majority opinion leaked, it’s assumed there were at least 5 votes in favor of overturning Roe v Wade, leaving state legislators to weigh their own abortion policies.
Texas GOP Sen. Ted Cruz also offered his opinion of who he believes the “leaker” could be.
Prior to the official ruling being announced, Supreme Court officials launched a probe into identifying the source of the leaked draft opinion, which included asking law clerks to provide cell phone records and sign affidavits.
Reporting from Conservative Brief.