Biden will let Breyer decide when to retire, aide says

White House press secretary Jen PsakiJen PsakiBiden: A good coach knows when to change up the team Virginia's Youngkin gets the DeSantis treatment from media On student loans, Biden doesn't have an answer yet MORE on Friday indicated President BidenJoe BidenUS threatens sweeping export controls against Russian industries Headaches intensify for Democrats in Florida US orders families of embassy staff in Ukraine to leave country MORE would leave it up to Supreme Court Justice Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerOvernight Health Care — Another Texas abortion setback Supreme Court rebuffs abortion providers again over Texas 6-week ban Sotomayor, Gorsuch issue statement denying tensions over masks MORE to determine when to retire amid mounting pressure from progressive groups.

"He believes that’s a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it’s time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court,” Psaki told reporters, adding that she was not aware of any conversations between Biden and Supreme Court justices since his inauguration.

Demand Justice, an advocacy group led by a former top aide to Senate Majority Leader Charles SchumerChuck SchumerVoting rights failed in the Senate — where do we go from here? Forced deadline spurs drastic tactic in Congress Democrats call on Biden administration to ease entry to US for at-risk Afghans MORE (D-N.Y.), launched an effort Friday to push Breyer, 82, to step down so that Biden can appoint the first Black woman to serve on the Supreme Court while Democrats have control of the Senate.

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“We are now firmly in the window when past justices have announced their retirement, so it's officially worrisome that Justice Breyer has not said yet that he will step down. The only responsible choice for Justice Breyer is to immediately announce his retirement so President Biden can quickly nominate the first-ever Black woman Supreme Court justice,” said Brian Fallon, the executive director of Demand Justice and a former top aide to Schumer.

Demand Justice has hired a billboard truck to drive around the Supreme Court with the message: “Breyer, retire. It’s time for a Black woman Supreme Court justice. There’s no time to waste."

The group also launched an online petition asking signatories to “Tell Justice Breyer: Put the country first. Don’t risk your legacy to an uncertain political future. Retire now.’”

Progressives are still reeling from the death of Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgBiden says Roe v. Wade under attack like 'never before' Second gentleman Emhoff acts as public link to White House Former colleagues honor Reid in ceremony at Capitol MORE, a liberal icon who died in September, allowing then-President TrumpDonald TrumpHeadaches intensify for Democrats in Florida Stormy Daniels set to testify against former lawyer Avenatti in fraud trial Cheney challenger wins Wyoming Republican activists' straw poll MORE and the GOP-controlled Senate to fill her seat with a conservative justice. 

Ginsburg, who was 87 when she died, continued serving despite various health ailments. Some Democrats had urged her to consider stepping down while former President Obama was still in office so that he could choose her replacement.

Demand Justice launched its new effort to pressure Breyer on the same day Biden issued an executive order establishing a committee to study the expansion of the Supreme Court, something progressives have pushed for in recent years as the court shifts to the right but that the president has not explicitly said he favors or opposes.

The White House said that the commission will hold public meetings to hear arguments from experts and interested parties. It will be required to complete a report on its work within 180 days of its first public meeting.