WASHINGTON—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten issued the following statement after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement:
“Justice Breyer’s service on the Supreme Court is marked by great intellect, pragmatism, and a deep respect for the role of the high court and its influence on American life. His legacy is one of deep understanding of administrative law, a deference to the interpretive intent of the Constitution, and a brilliant practicality about the consequences of the court’s decisions. His respect for the institution as a moderating force will be missed and is worth celebration.
“As our nation navigates unprecedented crises and an increasingly divisive political climate, the functionality of the Supreme Court has never been more important. While Republicans in the Senate have built entire careers out of threatening the court’s legitimacy and stacking it with extremist idealogues, Justice Breyer’s retirement presents an important opportunity for a return to civility, a commitment to diversity on the bench, and a swift process to confirm a qualified replacement before the October term begins.”