Ever since Joe Biden was elected, a chorus of voices on the left has been calling for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, giving the Democrat president a chance to name a similarly liberal jurist to fill the vacancy.
Breyer, first appointed to the court in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton, has steadfastly resisted those calls for him to step aside — but according to the Washington Examiner, leftists aren’t backing down.
The growing frustration on the left concerning Breyer’s refusal to retire all boils down to one thing: a fear that this potentially brief window of opportunity for Democrats to replace him, when they control both the White House and Senate, will be squandered.
That, in turn, could lead to a repeat of what occurred in 2020, when liberal Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg passed away and was replaced with conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett by then-President Donald Trump and the Republican-led Senate.
Breyer considering “complex” factors
The topic of when Justice Breyer might retire was broached once again last week when the jurist sat for an interview with Nina Totenberg of NPR, an interview that was ostensibly supposed to focus on his new book about the impact of politics on the Supreme Court’s authority.
“I’m only going to say that I’m not going to go beyond what I previously said on the subject, and that is that I do not believe I should stay on the Supreme Court, or want to stay on the Supreme Court, until I die,” Breyer said when asked about his retirement plans, as the Examiner reported.
“And when exactly I should retire, or will retire, has many complex parts to it,” he added, according to NPR. “I think I’m aware of most of them, and I am, and will consider them.”
He’s still trucking
The 83-year-old justice has similarly demurred when pressed on the retirement issue in other recent interviews.
But that hasn’t sat well with progressives — nor did the July revelation, per Bloomberg News, that Breyer had hired four new clerks for the high court’s next term, a clear indication that he had no intention of stepping down in the immediate future.
The Examiner noted in a Friday report that all of this has prompted even more elected Democrats — from the House to the Senate and even state legislators — to join the calls for Breyer’s imminent retirement.
“I wish that Justice Breyer would ‘come around’ to the idea of retiring while Joe Biden is president and the Senate in Democratic hands,” Florida state Rep. Omari Hardy (D) wrote in a Friday tweet, according to the Examiner. U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) expressed a similar sentiment earlier this summer, as Business Insider reported.
Pressed in a CNN interview on whether Breyer should step down sooner than later, AOC remarked: “I would give more thought to it, but I’m inclined to say yes.”