FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 26, 2022
Katie Wysong, West End Strategy Team
National Council of Jewish Women Celebrates Justice Breyer’s Career, Calls for Fair, Independent and Qualified Nominee
WASHINGTON — In response to Justice Stephen Breyer’s announcement of his retirement from the US Supreme Court, National Council of Jewish Women CEO Sheila Katz released the following statement celebrating his nearly three decades on the bench and calling for the swift appointment and confirmation of a fair, independent, qualified, and diverse nominee.
“Today’s news that Associate Justice Stephen Breyer plans to retire signals the end of an era. Justice Breyer’s 27 years on the highest bench in the country have been profound for both his opinions and dissents, and he has had a role in every major case before the Court on issues of concern to National Council of Jewish Women — from health care, to reproductive freedom, to racial justice, to gun violence prevention, to LGBTQ rights.
“Importantly, Justice Breyer has been an essential voice on the Court preserving the constitutional protection of our reproductive freedoms. Look no further than his invaluable contributions to safeguarding access to health care including abortion in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt where he authored the most significant opinion on abortion rights in a generation. He then reaffirmed this decision in June Medical Services v. Russo, reiterating that the courts must ‘weigh the law’s asserted benefits against the burdens.’ These two impactful decisions made it possible for millions of people to continue to access critical reproductive health care over the past five years, despite repeated attempts by legislators to restrict access.
“From Breyer’s first term on the Court, some of his most powerful opinions have been dissents that have changed the trajectory of this country, from defending the importance of desegregation to arguing for a stricter interpretation of the Second Amendment in favor of gun violence prevention measures.
“As we celebrate Justice Breyer’s legacy on the Court, we call on the president to swiftly nominate a fair, independent, and qualified judge to our highest Court. We support him following through on his campaign promise to select a Black woman for this critical role. Despite many qualified Black women judges, there has never been a Black woman on the Supreme Court, and it is long past time for this institution to better reflect the diversity of the American people with a justice who can bring their experiences and perspectives to deliberations and decision making. National Council of Jewish Women looks forward to working with the Senate to ensure a quick confirmation process. Our nation’s most pressing issues from racial justice to reproductive health, rights, and justice are at stake.”
National Council of Jewish Women (NCJW) is a grassroots organization of 200,000 volunteers and advocates who turn progressive ideals into action. Inspired by Jewish values, NCJW strives for social justice by improving the quality of life for women, children, and families and by safeguarding individual rights and freedoms. Through a program of education, community service, and advocacy, our advocates across the country create lasting social change on our key issues of the federal courts; reproductive health, rights and justice, and voter engagement. More information on Facebook and on Twitter at @NCJW.