At nearly 83 years of age, Justice Stephen Breyer is currently the oldest member of the U.S. Supreme Court bench. But that doesn’t mean he’s planning on retiring any time soon — and now, it seems some Democrats are getting impatient.
During a Sunday appearance on CNN, Sen. Amy Klobuchar was asked by host Dana Bash whether Breyer is “making a mistake by not retiring.” According to Breitbart, the Minnesota Democrat said while it’s the justice’s decision either way, she hopes he makes the final call “sooner rather than later.”
“I’m not going to speculate on his retirement,” Klobuchar told CNN, according to Breitbart. She noted that in his interview, Breyer had brought up two reasons why he might step down.
“One is health that he would look at and, two, the court,” she explained. “When you look at the court, he has to be concerned about the makeup.”
“It’s highly unlikely”
Klobuchar also said “you have to be concerned about how you get a justice on the court with all of the manipulation that [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell [R-KY] has engaged in.”
Klobuchar was likely referring to statements made by the GOP leader last month in an interview with conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt.
McConnell had pledged that if Republicans retake the majority in Congress’ upper chamber in 2022, it is unlikely they would confirm any new Supreme Court nominations the following year.
“I think in the middle of a presidential election, if you have a Senate of the opposite party of the president, you have to go back to the 1880s to find the last time a vacancy was filled,” McConnell said, according to Fox News.
“So I think it’s highly unlikely,” the Kentucky Republican added. “In fact, no, I don’t think either party if it controlled, if it were different from the president, would confirm a Supreme Court nominee in the middle of an election.”
“He makes his own decision”
With that in mind, while Klobuchar stressed Sunday that Breyer should make his own decisions, she said the time for such action — if he plans to take it — is now.
“He makes his own decision about if he’s going to retire. But if he’s going to retire, it should be sooner rather than later if you are concerned about the court. What happens in the U.S. Senate matters,” the Democrat senator said of Breyer, according to Breitbart.
Business Insider reported just over a week ago that some of Breyer’s own clerks “want him out of SCOTUS now.” Could the long-serving justice’s time on the bench finally be running out?