Some Democrats say Sonia Sotomayor should resign before election

 April 15, 2024

A number of polls suggest that former President Donald Trump is poised to retake the White House, something which could have serious ramifications for America's highest judicial body.

That fact has some Democrats calling on Justice Sonia Sotomayor to resign so President Joe Biden can pick her replacement. 

Sotomayor will turn 70 this summer

They include left-wing journalist Josh Barro, who authored a blog post earlier this month titled, "Keep the Pressure on Sotomayor to retire."

Barro highlighted the justice's age, stressing that Sotomayor will be 70 years old in June and is the oldest Supreme Court member to have been appointed by a Democrat.

"The best thing Sotomayor can do to secure her legacy and increase the likelihood that liberals can gain ground on the court in the future is to retire after 15 years of service, enabling Biden to appoint a younger, liberal judge to replace her and serve for decades to come," he wrote.

Former MSNBC host says "Democrats didn't learn lessons"

Former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan echoed that demand in an op-ed piece published by the Guardian. He recalled how Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's failure to retire during Barack Obama's presidency allowed Trump to replace her in 2020.

"Biden, elected Democrats, and liberals and progressives across the board should be both publicly and privately encouraging Sotomayor to consider what she wants her legacy to be, to remember what happened with RBG, and to not take any kind of gamble with the future of our democracy," Hasan argued.

He once again hammered those points when speaking with CNN, saying, "I think the Democrats didn't learn lessons."

"Why take the risk? You have a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate, and you have a justice who is about to turn 70," he asserted.

Progressives push back on idea that Sotomayor needs to go

However, Business Insider has also noted how the belief that Sotomayor should step down is not shared by some prominent Democrats, including California Rep. Ro Khanna.

"I don't think you can tell the first Latina Supreme Court Justice, who's still in her 60s, when to retire," Khanna told the magazine before pointing out that "[s]ome members of Congress are in their 70s and 80s."

Minnesota Democratic Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota offered a similar perspective, stating, "I'm not in favor of telling people when they should retire. I just think it's a waste of energy and time to have these silly debates."

Meanwhile, New York Democratic Rep. Ocasio-Cortez was quoted as saying, "I haven't really delved into that conversation much. So I don't really have much of a comment on it at the moment."

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