Supreme Court Justice: A Rallying Point

Seat Opens on the Supreme Court Following Retirement Announcement

By: Nicholas Palmeri

NPR | Justice Stephen Breyer

On January 26th of this year, Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement from the highest court, the Supreme Court.

 His liberal-leaning rulings bring him to the left wing of the court, which is shared only by himself, Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.

Currently, the conservatives have a six to three majority, so the replacement of a liberal justice with another liberal justice will keep the number the same. 

President Joe Biden plans to keep his campaign promise of nominating the first black woman to the Supreme Court. 

Americans, specifically Democrats, might find upcoming major court decisions to unsurprisingly rule in favor of the conservatives due from the number of Justices nominated by Republican presidents in the recent past. 

These include Justices Brett Kavanaugh, Neil Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett, who were all nominated by former President Donald Trump. Then, Clarence Thomas was nominated by George H.W Bush. Lastly, Samuel Alito and John Roberts were both nominated by President George W. Bush. 

President Biden is in office until January 20st 2025, which is a vast amount of time. It may be likely that during the next three years a conservative justice will retire. For now, it is vital for President Biden to keep his campaign promise.

Republican senator from Alaska Lisa Murkowski believes Biden’s nominee should garner support from senators on both sides of the aisle.

 In an exclusive interview with CNN, she says, “How are we going to unify? What is it that we need to do? Well, one of the signals he can send is putting forth a nominee for the supreme court that will gain a level of bipartisan support.”

 Unification is important during these times of division. From its founding, America was polarized, but we have passed those troubled times. We even came back from a devastating civil war, but we’re still a united country. 

Today, both political parties are angry at each other, so this is Biden’s chance to bridge the bipartisan gap. 

The upheaval surrounding the 2020 election has refueled this hatred. Those on the fringe elements of the Democratic and Republican parties might allow their hatred to flow, but decent Americans should be able to unify around a Justice who follows the constitution with authority and respect. 

Two notable nominees to replace retiring Justice Breyer are Leondra Kruger and J. Michelle Childs. 

The president has confirmed that his decision will be reached by the end of February. Both of these women have successful backgrounds in higher education and experience with the law. 

Kruger was awarded the Attorney General’s Award for Exceptional Service, and she has served on the California Supreme Court since 2014, when she was nominated by former Governor of the Golden State, Jerry Brown.

J. Michelle Childs was born in Detroit, Michigan and was raised by a single mother, her father had died previously. Childs received a law degree from the University of South Carolina and worked her way through many law firms. 

In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Childs to the U.S District Court for the District of South Carolina. Senators Lindsey Graham and, at the time, Jim Demint, were working with Democratic South Carolina Representative Jim Clyburn in helping to choose a nominee.   

They regarded Childs as “well qualified” and whose later confirmation was considered, “Uncontroversial.”

Though we are not sure how many other nominees President Biden is considering, we hope that the ultimate choice will be a rallying point for all Americans. 

Categories: Politics

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