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US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire



Liberal US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the end of the term later this year after nearly three decades on the bench.

His decision ensures President Joe Biden will have an opportunity to nominate a successor who could serve for decades.

But Mr Breyer’s replacement will not shift the court’s current 6-3 conservative majority.

It comes as the court considers several hot-button issues on its docket.

Democrats had been pressuring Mr Breyer – who, at 83, was the oldest justice on the bench – to retire so they could fill the seat while they retained control of the White House and Senate.

Mr Biden has previously pledged to nominate a black woman to the court for the first time.

Ketanji Brown Jackson, 51, a former law clerk to Mr Breyer, is believed to be the top contender for the job. Ms Jackson was confirmed last June to a seat on the US Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, in which she succeeded current Attorney General Merrick Garland.

The White House declined to comment on the news.

Each of the nine judges – known as justices – serves a lifetime appointment after being nominated by the president and approved by the Senate.

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