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

Breyer, 83, 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.

Michigan lawmakers from both sides of the aisle are responding to Breyer’s retirement.

I want to thank Justice Breyer for his service to our nation. Whether it was through his military service – his legal career – or his time on the federal bench – Justice Breyer’s devotion to our country has helped move our nation forward. The Senate must swiftly fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent – and then vote on President Biden’s nominee. I take this role very seriously, and I look forward to reviewing the credentials, experiences and qualifications of any nominee President Biden puts forward to fill this vacancy.”

U.S. Senator Gary Peters

Representative John Moolenaar has less favorable things to say about Breyer.

Justice Breyer consistently ruled against the dignity of human life and opposed pro-life policies. Science has found that babies in the womb have a heartbeat after six weeks, arms and legs after ten weeks, and major organs after 15 weeks. These unborn children have the right to life and future generations of Americans will look back in sadness on Justice Breyer’s support for unlimited abortion. A seat on the Supreme Court is one of the most important decisions a president can make. President Biden’s campaign promise to only consider candidates of a certain race and gender runs against the ideals of America, and he should nominate the best person for the job, without using race or gender in that decision,” added Moolenaar.

Representative John Moolenaar

“This Supreme Court vacancy comes at a consequential moment in our nation’s history – what we do at this moment will have a lasting impact on Michigan and our country. As new and important questions come before the Court, it’s critical we move forward, not backward, on workers’ rights, women’s rights, health care, voting rights, combatting the climate crisis and more. I know President Biden will choose a nominee who stands up for equal justice, democracy and the rule of law. I look forward to their consideration in the U.S. Senate.”

Senator Debbie Stabenow