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Justice Stephen Breyer hires law clerks for the Supreme Court's fall term, hinting that he won't be retiring

Business Insider logo Business Insider 7/2/2021 (Kelly McLaughlin,Oma Seddiq)
Stephen Breyer wearing a suit and tie: US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Paul Marotta/Getty Images © Paul Marotta/Getty Images US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. Paul Marotta/Getty Images
  • Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has hired four new law clerks for the fall term.
  • The move signals that Breyer may not have plans to retire soon.
  • Progressives have called for Breyer to step down so Biden could nominate his successor.
  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer has hired four law clerks for the fall term, the court confirmed to Bloomberg on Friday, signaling that he may not have plans to retire soon.

The move comes amid calls from progressive activists and politicians for Breyer, 82, to retire so President Joe Biden can nominate a successor while the Senate is still controlled by Democrats.

Breyer, the oldest justice on the bench, has made no public comments on his retirement, but the new hires likely suggest that he does not intend to step down in the near future. The Supreme Court's latest term ended earlier this week.

Video: Who Is Justice Stephen Breyer? Calls For His Retirement From The Supreme Court (Newsweek)


A spokesperson for the court didn't immediately return Insider's request for confirmation.

Since Biden took office, progressives have launched a pressure campaign for Breyer to retire and allow the president to fulfill his campaign promise of appointing the first Black woman to the Supreme Court.

The sense of urgency intensified last month when Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell hinted that he would block Biden's future nominees for the court if Republicans win back the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections and he becomes majority leader once again.

McConnell blocked former President Barack Obama's Supreme Court pick, Merrick Garland, from getting a nomination hearing in 2016. During former President Donald Trump's one term, McConnell pushed through three justices to the bench, cementing its conservative majority, 6-3.

Breyer became the most senior member of the court's liberal wing after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's death last September. In the court's latest term, he wrote the majority opinions for notable cases, including one that upheld the Affordable Care Act and another that sided with a former high school cheerleader who had been punished over a profane rant on social media. One Supreme Court scholar recently cast doubt on Breyer retiring any time soon, telling USA Today that the justice is at the "apex of his career."

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