In an interview with Fox News Sunday this weekend, Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer didn’t shy away from announcing his stance on a number of hot-button issues facing the federal judiciary.
According to The Hill, Breyer expressed openness Sunday to the idea of term limits, which the justice said would “make life easier” for him as he faces pressure to retire after more than two decades on the high court.
As for court-packing, Breyer wasn’t so keen on the idea.
“People will lose trust”
The prospect of adding justices to the Supreme Court bench first gained popularity after the death of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last fall. The development gave then-President Donald Trump the opportunity to appoint a third conservative justice to the high court, effectively cementing its ideological tilt for decades to come.
But progressives seem willing to fight back with any means necessary, including adding more seats to the bench so President Joe Biden can put up a host of liberal jurists.
For now, however, Breyer isn’t buying it.
“Well, if one party could do it, I guess another party could do it,” he warned in his Sunday interview with Fox, according to The Hill. “It seems to me, you start changing all these things around and people will lose trust in the court,” he added.
“Many complex parts”
On the topic of term limits, which have gained traction on the left in recent months, Breyer was more open, saying, “I think you could do that.”
“It should be a very long term because you don’t want the judge who’s holding that term to start thinking about his next job,” he noted. “But it would make life easier for me.”
The 83-year-old jurist has thus far resisted calls for his retirement, but has indicated in recent interviews that the subject is on his mind.
“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 told NPR last week, according to Business Insider.
“And when exactly I should retire, or will retire, has many complex parts to it,” the justice added. “I think I’m aware of most of them, and I am, and will consider them.”