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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, giving Biden a chance to nominate a replacement

U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer is seen during a group portrait session for the new full court at the Supreme Court in Washington, November 30, 2018.
Jim Young | Reuters

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire, giving President Joe Biden a crucial opportunity to replace the liberal justice, NBC News reported Wednesday.

Breyer at age 83 is the oldest member of the court. Former President Bill Clinton nominated him and he took his seat in 1994.

Breyer will retire as the high court, sporting a 6-3 conservative majority after the Senate confirmed three nominees of former President Donald Trump, shows a willingness to wade into divisive cultural issues and question long-standing judicial precedent.

NBC, citing people familiar with the decision, did not immediately report when Breyer is expected to step down or whether he will do so prior to the 2022 midterm elections.

Republicans, who hope to regain a majority in the Senate, could throw a Biden nominee in jeopardy if they take control of the chamber in January.

“It has always been the decision of any Supreme Court Justice if and when they decide to retire, and how they want to announce it, and that remains the case today,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Twitter.

“We have no additional details or information to share from @WhiteHouse,” she tweeted.

A spokeswoman for the Supreme Court did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.

This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.

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