Breyer’s Successor Must Recognize the Government’s Role in Protecting Environment and Health

WASHINGTON  – Justice Stephen Breyer will retire from the U.S. Supreme Court later this year, multiple news outlets reported today.
Mitch Bernard, Chief Counsel of NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council), made the following statement:

“Justice Breyer will be remembered for his distinguished career of fair and thoughtful service to the nation. In important cases, he voted to affirm the safeguards we depend on to defend clean air and water, healthy wildlife and sustainable habitat.

“Two cases now before the Court aim to weaken decades of clean air and water quality protections and to limit the tools we need to confront the climate crisis. These cases underscore the stakes in making sure his successor will interpret our laws consistent with Congress’s purpose in enacting them, understands the importance of access to the courts, and recognizes the government’s responsibility to protect public health and the environment.

“We look to the Senate to fulfill its constitutional role of advice and consent and act expeditiously when President Biden makes a nomination.”

NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC. 

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