Democrats launch quiet pressure campaign against Sonia Sotomayor

 April 5, 2024

Democrats are making a quiet push to force Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor into retirement. 

Sotomayor, 69, is diabetic and has reportedly traveled with medics in recent years, leading to speculation about her health.

Democrats have never forgiven Ruth Bader Ginsburg for dying in office in 2020, which allowed President Trump to pick her successor.

Rather than risk a repeat of that scenario, Democrats have decided to launch a passive-aggressive pressure campaign against a 69-year-old woman whom they, at least on the surface, support.

The unsavory task of broaching the subject was left to Senator Richard Blumenthal (Ct.), a senior Democrat who sits on the Senate Judiciary Committee.

Dems begin pressuring Sotomayor

Blumenthal tried to hide his cynical message to Sotomayor behind a veneer of flattery and philosophical musing.

“I’m very respectful of Justice Sotomayor. I have great admiration for her," he told NBC, adding philosophically, "The old saying — graveyards are full of indispensable people, ourselves in this body included."

Blumenthal also gestured at a public duty that Sotomayor, the first Hispanic person on the Supreme Court, has to ensure "the court looks and thinks like America."

Further driving home the point, Blumenthal said retired justices have life pretty good.

“Life is pretty good for a retired justice,” he said. "She’s a highly respected intellect and figure with a great record of accomplishments. So she would have a lot of opportunities for continued public service.”

Biden weighs in

Outside of Blumenthal, pressure on Sotomayor has mostly come from the liberal commentariat.

Evidently, many Democrats think it's bad politics to be seen treating a Supreme Court justice like a piece on a chessboard. Well, some Democrats, anyway.

Blumenthal was echoed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (Ri.), who criticized the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg for refusing to retire before she died.

"Certainly I think if Justice Ginsburg had it to do over again, she might have rethought her confidence in her own health," he said.

The Democrats' dissembling on the subject has angered some on the left, who say the stakes are too high to tiptoe.

“All the people in the liberal legal community are putting hurting Sonia’s feelings ahead of the prospect of a 7-2 court. Insane,” one Democrat said. “So they don’t say anything about her retiring when they all think she should.”

Biden is maintaining an appearance of disinterest, saying it's Sotomayor's decision to make.

"President Biden believes that decisions to retire from the Supreme Court should be made by the justices themselves and no one else," the White House said.

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