During a press conference on Thursday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki declined to comment on the circumstances behind Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement.
When asked when the president was informed of Breyer’s decision to retire, Psaki simply stated that the administration had no say in the matter.
On Thursday, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer formally informed President Biden of his intention to depart at the end of the current term of the court. Breyer emphasized his intention to have his successor lined up before stepping aside in a letter dated Jan. 27.
Breyer’s retirement plans, however, were disclosed to the public on Wednesday, causing the justice to be angry. It’s unclear how long Breyer’s judgment was kept a secret.
Before addressing the issue of Breyer’s replacement, Biden spoke Thursday afternoon, thanking him and complimenting him as an exceptional justice.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said on Thursday that the Senate will act promptly to confirm Biden’s choice to replace Breyer and that he or she will be treated properly.
Biden previously stated that he will name his choice by the end of February. That implies Breyer’s replacement might be confirmed by the end of the spring if the Senate acts as rapidly as Schumer claims.