Baldwin, Democratic Senate Candidates React to Supreme Court Justice Breyer’s Retirement

Associate Justice Stephen Breyer poses for the official group photo at the US Supreme Court in Washington, DC on November 30, 2018. (Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

By Pat Kreitlow

January 26, 2022

President Biden will pick a nominee for Senate confirmation.

Wednesday’s retirement announcement by US Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer set off a wave of speculation not only about who President Joe Biden would nominate as a replacement, but whether the US Senate can quickly confirm any nominee.

Democratic Sen. Tammy Baldwin said the nominee and the court “impact our lives in very fundamental ways.” She expects the president to pick a highly qualified nominee. “And I look forward to meeting with her—I’m just guessing here,” she joked, noting Biden’s promise to nominate a woman for the post.

Some of the dozen Democratic candidates for the US Senate seat currently held by GOP Sen. Ron Johnson likewise offered their thoughts.

“I have full faith that President Biden will nominate an exceedingly qualified nominee, and I look forward to reviewing their record on the issues that matter to Wisconsinites,” said Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes in a statement. “I expect the Senate to do its job by providing a fair, thoughtful, and swift confirmation process.”

State Treasurer Sarah Godlewski, who last September called on Breyer to step down, said, “President Biden and the Senate must move quickly to confirm a new Supreme Court Justice and reject any efforts by [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell, Ron Johnson, and the GOP to steal another seat. With reproductive rights, voting rights, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, and so much more at risk, we must fill this seat now.”

RELATED: Supreme Court Upholds Obamacare Again, Saving Health Coverage for 2.4 Million in Wisconsin

Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson said Biden’s nominee “must be fully committed to stand up to the radical imbalance that currently exists on the court thanks to three Trump-nominated extremists.”

Former Milwaukee Bucks executive Alex Lasry said on Twitter, “The vacancy underscores how delicate our democracy currently is. Issues like Roe v. Wade, protecting coverage for pre-existing conditions, the right to vote, and marriage equality are all on the line.”


  • Pat Kreitlow

    The Founding Editor of UpNorthNews, Pat was a familiar presence on radio and TV stations in western Wisconsin before serving in the state Legislature. After a brief stint living in the Caribbean, Pat and wife returned to Chippewa Falls to be closer to their growing group of grandchildren. He now serves as UNN's chief political correspondent and host of UpNorthNews Radio, airing weekday mornings 6 a.m.-8 a.m on the Civic Media radio network and the UpNorthNews Facebook page.



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