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Joe Biden announces retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer

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Joe Biden announces retirement of Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer
Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announces his retirement with President Joe Biden in the Roosevelt Room at the White House on Thursday. Photo by Yuri Gripas/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 27 (UPI) -- President Joe Biden announced the retirement of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer at the White House on Thursday.

In a speech before reporters in the Roosevelt Room of the White House, Biden said he was honored to be among the senators who confirmed Breyer to the U.S. Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court.

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"I'm here today to express the nation's gratitude to Justice Stephen Breyer for his remarkable career in public service and his clear-eyed commitment to making our country's laws work for its people," Biden said. "And our gratitude extends to Justice Breyer's family, for being partners in his decades of public service.

"Particularly, I want to thank his wife, Dr. Joanna Breyer, who is here today, and who has stood by him for nearly six decades with her fierce intellect, good humor and enormous heart. I want to thank you."

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Breyer, 83, told those in attendance he believes the "American experiment" of democracy will prevail, even though many people don't agree.

"This is a complicated country. There's 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," he said.

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"And it's a kind of miracle when you sit there and see all these people in front of you. People that are so different in what they think, and yet they've decided to help solve their major differences under law."

Breyer's retirement was reported by multiple news outlets on Wednesday.

Biden said in his remarks that he will fulfill his campaign promise to nominate the first Black female judge to the Supreme Court. He said he plans to announce his nominee by the end of February.

"I'm going to invite senators from both parties to offer their ideas and points of view," he said. "I will also consult with leading scholars and lawyers."

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"The person I will nominate will be someone with extraordinary qualifications, character, experience and integrity," he added. "And that person will be the first Black woman ever nominated to the United States Supreme Court.

"It's long overdue, in my view. I made that commitment during my campaign for president and I will keep that commitment."

The new Supreme Court nominee will be Biden's first as president. His predecessor, former President Donald Trump, appointed three justices to the high court -- Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire: a look back

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer speaks as the U.S. Mint launches the Chief Justice John Marshall silver dollar on May 4, 2005, in Washington. Photo by Roger L. Wollenberg/UPI | License Photo

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