Journalist urges Sonia Sotomayor to retire as she admits 'frustration' with job

 January 31, 2024

Liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor is being urged to retire to avoid a repeat of the nightmare scenario that liberals found themselves in when Ruth Bader Ginsburg died. 

A progressive journalist, Josh Barro, said it's surprising that Sotomayor has not already resigned, given her age and health and the likelihood that Democrats will lose control of the Senate in 2024.

"It's quite possible the Democrats will lose control of the Senate in the next election. And who knows how long it could be before the next opportunity for a Democratic president to make an appointment," he told CNN Tuesday.

Sotomayor urged to resign

At a recent talk, Sotomayor shared her "frustration" with the court sliding to the right and admitted that she is struggling to cope with the demands of her prestigious job.

Barro said it's "surprising" that she is holding onto her seat, given her concerns about the court and the odds that Democrats won't have an opportunity to appoint a new justice for years to come.

Sotomayor is 69 and diabetic, he noted.

"I find it a little bit surprising, given what Sotomayor describes there about the stakes of what is happening before the Supreme court that she has not retired. She's 69 years old, she's been on the court for 15 years," he said.

When Ruth Bader Ginsburg died in 2020, many liberals expressed regret that she had not retired while Barack Obama was still president. Her stubbornness ultimately allowed President Trump to appoint her replacement, Amy Coney Barrett.

Too demanding?

Sotomayor gave fuel to critics who doubt her qualifications and judicial temperament in a recent talk at UC Berkeley, where she described her goal as bending the "arc of the universe toward justice" and expressed "frustration" with decisions from her conservative colleagues in the majority.

“I live in frustration. Every loss truly traumatizes me in my stomach and in my heart,” Sotomayor said. “But I have to get up the next morning and keep on fighting.”

Despite Sotomayor's grousing, the court's conservatives do not always vote as a unit- unlike the liberal justices, who vote on ideology almost without exception.

Sotomayor - who was appointed by President Obama - also complained about not having enough time to relax.

"There used to be a time when we had a good chunk of the summer break. Not anymore. The emergency calendar is busy almost on a weekly basis," she said.

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