Washington, D.C. — Following news that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire, Patrick Gaspard, president and CEO of the Center for American Progress, issued the following statement:
In more than a quarter century on the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer has been a pragmatic consensus builder and a master of compromise who has helped preserve a progressive vision of the Constitution. He has been a key vote to uphold abortion rights, legalize same-sex marriage, and protect the Affordable Care Act. And he has been the court’s most powerful voice in speaking out against the unconstitutional use of the death penalty.
The U.S. Senate must now act swiftly to confirm President Joe Biden’s choice to replace Justice Breyer with a justice who is equally committed to protecting the rights of women, people of color, and the LGBTQ community. The nominee should not place the agenda of wealthy special interests ahead of the needs of average Americans. President Biden should consider a nominee who will bring more diversity to the high court and someone with experience in representing ordinary Americans as well as big corporations. The Supreme Court would be well served by a justice who has served as a public defender or worked to represent legal aid or civil rights organizations. A diverse and well-balanced judiciary is critical to ensuring a federal bench that reflects the needs and experiences of all Americans.
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