Biden, 81, Hints Two Supreme Court Justices May Retire Soon


President Joe Biden made a striking forecast on Wednesday, asserting that he will appoint two Supreme Court justices in the next four years if he is reelected.

“Guess what? The next president, they’re going to be able to appoint a couple of justices,” Biden remarked during a campaign speech in Philadelphia focusing on black voters. “If, in fact, we’re able to change some of the justices when they retire and put in really progressive judges like we’ve always had, tell me that won’t change your life.”

However, this scenario hinges on two of the current justices, all of whom are at least six years younger than Biden, stepping down over the next four years.

Clarence Thomas is the oldest sitting justice, turning 76 in June and will be 80 by the end of 2028. Biden, now 81, would be 86 by the conclusion of a potential second term.

Justice Samuel Alito, who is next in age at 74, reached this milestone in April. Both Alito and Thomas are seen as part of the court’s conservative wing and may be hesitant to retire under a Democratic administration voluntarily.

Following them is Sonia Sotomayor, aged 69, who has faced significant pressure from liberal activists to retire. Chief Justice John Roberts also stands at 69 but is six months younger than Sotomayor.

Justice Elena Kagan is 64, while all other Supreme Court judges are under 60.

Biden has surpassed former President Donald Trump in overall judicial appointments, having reached 201 to date, exceeding Trump by five at the same point in his presidency.

During his campaign speech, Biden emphasized his appointment of the most recent Supreme Court justice, Ketanji Brown-Jackson.

“Because you voted, I was able to keep my commitment to appoint the first black woman on the United States Supreme Court,” he said, receiving applause. “A promise made and a promise kept. And I appointed more black women to the federal circuit courts than every other president in American history combined.”

He cautioned that Trump would appoint justices who would undermine various rights if he had the chance in the next four years.

“Trump justices are already gutting voting rights, overturning Roe, decimating affirmative action, and so much more,” Biden stated. “Are we going to let that happen? We can’t.”

Haisten Willis
Haisten Willis
White House Reporter. Before moving to D.C., Haisten was an Atlanta-based freelance journalist, writing for the Washington Post, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and U.S. News & World Report, among other outlets. From 2020 to 2022, he was the national Freedom of Information Committee chairman at the Society of Professional Journalists.

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