WASHINGTON — Justice Stephen Breyer will officially retire from the Supreme Court Thursday, ending a 28-year legacy on the court. At the same time, Ketanji Brown Jackson will be sworn in by Chief Justice John Roberts as his replacement on the bench.
Breyer, 83, gave notice of his retirement in a Wednesday letter to President Joe Biden, saying he would retire at noon Thursday, shortly after the court is expected to issue the last rulings of the term.
"The Court has announced that tomorrow beginning at 10 a.m., it will hand down all remaining opinions ready during this Term," Breyer wrote. "It has been my great honor to participate as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the Rule of Law."
In a release, the Supreme Court confirmed that Jackson would take the constitutional oath to become a justice at a small ceremony with her family. Chief Justice John Roberts plans to deliver the oath, as is tradition.
Jackson, who was nominated by President Joe Biden, was confirmed by the Senate earlier this year.
When she is sworn in to the lifetime position, she will be the first Black woman to take the bench on the high court.
Jackson's appointment to the court won't change the conservative slant of the court for the next term, as she is a liberal judge replacing another liberal judge.
Breyer's final term was marked by deep divisions in the Supreme Court that often found him on the losing side of major decisions.
As a liberal justice, Breyer often found himself among the minority for the 2021 term, after several appointees nominated by former President Donald Trump pushed the court into a conservative supermajority.
In the biggest case of the term — and likely one of the biggest in Breyer's career — the court ruled 5-4 to strike down Roe v. Wade, which guaranteed the right to abortion in the U.S.
In another major case, the court sided with a school football coach who was asked by the school district not to pray on the field after games.
This is a developing story.