While there were plenty of highlights during President Joe Biden’s first official State of the Union (SOTU) address on March 1, the best moment was also the most adorable. When Biden thanked Justice Stephen Breyer for his service on the Supreme Court, Breyer went full embarrassed grandpa — and it was too heartwarming to handle. People all over the internet were gushing over the justice’s wholesome reaction to being honored, and these tweets about Stephen Breyer at the 2022 State of the Union are too cute.
After serving on the United States Supreme Court for more than two decades, Breyer announced his retirement from his seat in a Jan. 27 letter to the president. “I am writing to tell you that I have decided to retire from regular active judicial service as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States,” Breyer wrote, noting that his official retirement date would take effect at the end of his term in late June or early July. “I enormously appreciate the privilege of of serving as part of the federal judicial system.”
In his State of the Union address on March 1, Biden thanked Breyer for his service. “I’d like to honor someone who has dedicated his life to serve this country: Justice Breyer — an Army veteran, constitutional scholar, and retiring justice of the United States Supreme Court,” Biden said. “Justice Breyer, thank you for your service.”
Breyer’s reaction couldn’t have been any more wholesome: The justice smiled and bashfully raised his hands to cover his face, then his heart, with an air of, “oh no, please stop!” Someone help me, my heart is melting.
Everyone else thought so too.
While Biden’s tribute to Breyer was indeed a heartwarming moment, the justice’s incoming retirement signals turmoil ahead. On Feb. 25, Biden nominated Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to fill the seat Breyer is leaving, making her the first Black woman nominated to the Supreme Court.
Still, it will likely be an uphill battle to confirm her. With several critical cases on abortion, gun rights, race, and religion on the Supreme Court’s docket, the next justice to fill Breyer’s empty seat is going to be tasked with making decisions that could change America’s political landscape for better or worse. Currently, the court sits at a six to three conservative majority, tilted rightward by Donald Trump-nominated justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Despite the political wrangling likely to be ahead, people all over the internet (including me) can’t help but enjoy how happy Justice Breyer is to be recognized for all his years of service on the court. “I have found the work challenging and meaningful,” Breyer wrote in his retirement letter. “Throughout, I have been aware of the great honor of participating as a judge in the effort to maintain our Constitution and the rule of law.” An honor, and well-deserving of being honored, clearly.
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism