Skip to content

Durbin Honors Justice Stephen Breyer on the Senate Floor

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL), Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, today honored Justice Stephen Breyer on the Senate floor following his announcement that he will retire at the end of this Supreme Court term. 

“In his nearly three decades on the Supreme Court, Justice Stephen Breyer has… ensured the law is a force for good, a force for unity, and a force for freedom and equality,” Durbin said.  “Justice Breyer’s record when it came to the Supreme Court was nothing short of awe inspiring.  From voting rights to women’s reproductive freedom, from criminal justice to consumer protection, from campaign finance to immigration, Justice Breyer’s voice has been powerful, pragmatic, thoughtful, and enduring whether in the majority or in dissent… During his 28 years on the Court, Stephen Breyer has been a stalwart defender of America’s constitutional rights.”

During his speech, Durbin also spoke about the upcoming confirmation process in the Senate Judiciary Committee once President Biden nominates Justice Breyer’s successor.

“Soon President Biden will announce his selection for Justice Breyer’s successor to the Supreme Court—big shoes to fill.  But I have no doubt that President Biden will select a jurist who parallels Justice Breyer in intellect, ability, and dedication to public service.  With his retirement, we have an opportunity to confirm another outstanding Justice, one who will indeed champion the freedoms and liberties we hold so dear.  One who will also remain faithful to the rule of law and who will approach her work on the Court with the same thoughtful dedication displayed by Justice Breyer,” Durbin said.  “We don’t yet know who the nominee will be, but here’s what we do know.  No matter the nominee, we will undertake a process in the Senate Judiciary Committee that is both fair and timely.  This process will afford Senators an opportunity to review the nominee’s record and question the nominee thoroughly while at the same time ensuring the nominee is treated respectfully and receives a prompt confirmation vote.  We owe that not just to this nominee but to the American people.”

Durbin concluded, “I want to personally thank Justice Breyer not as a member of the Senate, but as an American citizen first for his thoughtfulness, his spirit of collegiality and consensus building, and for always working to advance the Constitution’s guarantees of fairness and freedom.”

Video of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Audio of Durbin’s floor speech is available here.

Footage of Durbin’s floor speech is available here for TV Stations.