McConnell Floor Remarks on Justice Breyer’s Announced Retirement

WASHINGTON, D.C.U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) delivered the following remarks today on the Senate floor regarding Justice Breyer’s announced retirement:

“Last week, Justice Stephen Breyer announced he plans to retire from the Supreme Court at the conclusion of this term.

“Justice Breyer deserves our country’s hearty congratulations. By this summer, he will have dedicated more than four decades of service to the federal judiciary, including 28 years on our highest Court.

“During this time, the Justice has won respect and admiration from across the legal profession. One does not have to agree with the substance of Justice Breyer’s legal philosophy or the conclusions he has reached in many cases to appreciate the service he has rendered to the Court and our country.

“He is universally regarded as a careful and committed jurist. He is a top-shelf legal expert and intellectual heavyweight. In fact, Justice Breyer has published prolifically even beyond his caseload. Over the decades, the Justice has spent many hundreds of published pages transparently laying out his legal philosophy and thinking through scholarly questions in public view.

“Most of all, I admire Justice Breyer’s staunch defense of the institution of the Supreme Court itself in the face of increasingly reckless rhetoric from loud voices on the political left who’d like to consider themselves intellectually aligned with Justice Breyer. The Justice proved that, in fact, they are not. He has been a loud and consistent opponent of disastrous ideas such as modern Democrats’ partisan court-packing proposals that would destroy public trust and deal a permanent blow to the rule of law.

“My warm best wishes are with Justice Breyer, his wife Joanna, and the Breyer family as the Justice concludes this term and his remarkable tenure.


“Naturally, the country’s focus now turns to the next chapter for the Court, which President Biden and this Senate will author together.

“For now, Madam President, I will simply note a basic fact. President Biden was elected on the specific promise to govern from the middle, steward our governing institutions, and unite a divided country. Underscoring that point, the American people handed President Biden a dead-even Senate, 50-50.

“I suggest that President Biden bear this in mind as he considers whom to nominate to our highest court.

“The American people deserve a nominee who has demonstrated reverence for the written text of our laws and our great Constitution.”


Related Issues: Supreme Court, Judicial Nominations