Analysis: Battle Lines Drawn, Speculation Circulates Over Breyer Replacement

Casey Harper, The Center Square

Stephen Breyer, U.S. Supreme Court Justice, will formally declare his retirement from high court this Thursday. On Wednesday, news broke that Justice Stephen Breyer was retiring. This triggered a lot of political speculation about who will replace him.

Biden pledged multiple times on the campaign trail to nominate a Black female justice, emphasizing he is “looking forward to making sure there’s a Black woman on the Supreme Court.”

D.C. Circuit Judge Ketanji Jackson Jackson, California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger and South Carolina District Judge J. Michelle Childs.

“Number one, I am committed that if I’m elected president and have an opportunity to appoint someone to the courts, I’ll appoint the first Black woman to the courts,” Biden said in March 2020. “It’s required that they have representation now. It’s long overdue.”

RELATED: White House confirms Biden will choose a black woman for the Supreme Court

Shannon Bream, a host at Fox News, tweeted Wednesday that Breyer had not intended to announce his retirement yet and was “surprised” by the revelation.

“Why are political operatives in the White House trying to bully Justice Breyer into retirement?” said U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, raising speculations about the motive and source of the leaked news.

This speculation suggests that Democrats have a deadline. Democrats must get their nominee approved before the midterm election, given the possibility that they will lose control over the Senate. Any Biden nomination to the bench must be ratified by the Senate with a simple majority.

“I can’t imagine why Senate Republicans would agree to move on Biden’s replacement for Breyer until after the November elections,” said Tom Fitton, head of Judicial Watch.

Rumours continued to circulate in Washington. Others speculated that Kamala Harris, Vice President, could be the nominee. However, the White House isn’t confirming this possibility.

In response to those rumors, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki was asked if Harris’ nomination was a possibility during the White House press briefing Wednesday.

“Again, I’m not going to speak to any considerations, preparations, lists,” Psaki responded. “And as we’ve stated earlier, and as you heard the president say, there is a long history of Supreme Court Justices determining when they will retire, if they will retire, and announcing that and that remains the case today.”

The Breyer news comes on the heels of a few major rulings from the Supreme Court, including its decision to block Biden’s vaccine mandate for private employers with at least 100 employees.

The court is currently considering an abortion case, which some believe could result in Roe v. Wade being reversed, which would mean that federal abortion laws will be upended and the state legislatures have the ability to make abortion law.

Sens. and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va., are likely to support the nomination. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Kyrsten Silenza (D-Ariz.), will be closely monitored. They have shut down other parts of Biden’s agenda, including his push to axe the filibuster to push through a federal takeover of state elections.

RELATED : Chicago Public Schools Recipient $2.8 billion, but Kids still Stay at Home

“I take my Constitutional responsibility to advise and consent on a nominee to the Supreme Court very seriously,” Manchin said Wednesday. “I look forward to meeting with and evaluating the qualifications of President Biden’s nominee to fill this Supreme Court vacancy.”

Some Republicans urged Biden not to accept the nomination, but to offer an olive branch.

“Moment of truth for Joe Biden. Will this deeply unpopular & divisive president finally reject the radical elements of his party and nominate someone who loves America and believes in the Constitution?” Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., wrote on Twitter. “Or will he continue to tear apart this country w/ a woke activist?

“If he chooses to nominate a left wing activist who will bless his campaign against parents, his abuse of the FBI, his refusal to enforce our immigration laws, and his lawless vaccine mandates, expect a major battle in the Senate,” Hawley added.

Breyer, at 83 years old is the oldest Supreme Court member. Breyer has been serving since 1994 when President Bill Clinton appointed him. Two other justices currently serving on the nine-member bench are not from Democratic countries.

“I’m sending my sincerest thanks to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer for his many years of service to our country,” said Rep. Jim Langevin, D-R.I.

The Center Square permission granted this syndicated version.