WASHINGTON (AP) — Liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is retiring, giving President Joe Biden an opening he has pledged to fill by naming the first Black woman to the high court.

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The 83-year-old Breyer has been a pragmatic force on a court that has grown increasingly conservative in recent years, trying to forge majorities with more moderate justices right and left of center.

Breyer’s departure won’t change the 6-3 conservative advantage on the court, since his replacement will be nominated and almost certainly confirmed by a Senate where Democrats have the slimmest majority.

It also makes conservative Justice Clarence Thomas the oldest member of the court at 73.

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