US Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer is set to retire, the Associated Press reported, citing sources. With the 83-year-old liberal gone, President Joe Biden will nominate his pick on the apex court bench. 

While there are several factors that will influence Biden’s choice, here’s how the process to replace him could play out.

Also read: Is Justice Stephen Breyer liberal or conservative?

President Joe Biden names his nominee:

Biden, during his campaign for President, said that he would nominate a Black woman, a first, to the Supreme Court bench. The White House on Wednesday signalled that the commander-in-chief intends to keep his promise. 

Biden is expected to interview a list of the eligible candidates and the nomination will be made. 

Senate Judiciary Committee:

Hearings in the Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Illinois Democrat Dick Durbin, will see activist groups and senators drill into the nominee’s record. 

Also read: Who could replace Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer?

The confirmation of a Supreme Court justice generally takes two to three months. Justice Amy Coney Barrett’s confirmation, ahead of the 2020 election, was made in lightning speed – less than a month. 

With the Democrats likely to lose their Senate majority after midterms later this year, Biden would like to pace the process. 

How many votes does it take to confirm a new Supreme Court justice?

It takes a majority, 51 votes,in the Senate. At 50-50 vote tie, Vice President Kamala Harris’s is the breaker. 

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A majority of the Republicans are expected to block Biden’s nominee. 

How long is a Supreme Court justice’s term?

A Supreme Court justice has no particular term. They can serve for life. Justice Stephen Breyer was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994. 

A 2018 analysis by the Harvard Business Review claimed that average tenure over the next 100 years will grow to 35 years. It was 17 over the previous 100 years.