Why anyone cares what a Senator who couldn’t beat “Sleepy Joe” as a presidential candidate thinks is a mystery to many, but apparently Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) opinion about Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s future is important to a number of left-leaning media outlets.
According to Breitbart, Klobuchar said during CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that if Breyer is going to retire, he should do it “sooner rather than later,” because the Democrats’ razor-thin Senate majority may be in jeopardy in the 2022 midterms.
CNN’s Dana Bash asked Klobuchar: “Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told my colleague Joan Biskupic exclusively this week that he has not made a decision on when he will retire from the court. I know you know your fellow Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal says he is very concerned about the liberal wing of the court being sustainable. So is Justice Breyer making a mistake by not retiring?”
Klobuchar replied, “I’m not going to speculate on his retirement.” She, of course, went on to do exactly that.
Klobuchar commented that Breyer has said two factors are influencing when he will retire.
“It was very clear that he said two reasons,” the senator said. “One is health that he would look at and, two, the court. When you look at the court, he has to be concerned about the makeup. And you have to be concerned about how you get a justice on the court with all of the manipulation that Mitch McConnell has engaged in.”
McConnell has made it clear that he will use the powers at his disposal to block liberal, high court nominees, whenever possible. He denied Merrick Garland a vote in 2016 and quickly helped push through Justice Amy Coney-Barrett’s confirmation just before the 2020 election in a move that drew sharp criticism from Democrats.
Klobuchar has reason to fear that a true liberal nominee might not make it through the Senate if the upper chamber switches hands in 2022, and a 6-3 conservative court could be further diluted.
Breyer soldiers on
It appears that Breyer will not retire during the high court’s next term, as he recently hired a full set of clerks and looks ready to proceed with business as usual, Business Insider noted.
Breyer, 82, seems to be in good health but he has clearly reached an age where, biologically speaking, anything could happen at any given time.
Democrats are nervous about the health and longevity of liberal justices after the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last year while still serving on the bench, but she suffered from at least four different bouts of cancer in the decade prior to her passing.
Breyer has faced tremendous pressure from Democrats to retire now, while Democrats hold a slim majority in the Senate and could virtually vote in any nominee of their choosing. So far, the only thing Breyer has confirmed is that he doesn’t know if and when he will give up the gavel.