Progressives Wait To Hear If Justice Breyer Will Retire From Supreme Court As Term Draws To Close

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Some progressives are waiting to hear if Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will retire at the conclusion of the Supreme Court term Thursday.

As reported by CNN, “what some liberals want to hear from the 82-year-old Breyer as the session ends in upcoming days is when he might retire. For them, the answer, reflecting the politically fraught confirmation process rather than Breyer’s legal contributions, should be ‘soon.’”

“Everyone may have to wait,” the outlet noted in the article on Tuesday. “No sign has emerged that Breyer would announce he is stepping down this week.” However, as the outlet noted, Breyer might consider his options over the summer recess. 

CNN added, “Breyer’s vision about keeping judges above politics, expressed in a Harvard lecture in April, will be published in a book this September. The escalating turmoil of Supreme Court confirmations surely presents a dilemma for Breyer, who appears healthy and enjoys his job but is also wise to the ways of Washington.”

Some progressives are hoping that Breyer steps down so that President Joe Biden would be able to nominate someone to the Supreme Court. 

Members of the radical Left have also pushed the idea of expanding the Supreme Court, ultimately changing the system. While Biden kept silent about his opinions regarding that action during his presidential campaign, once elected he set up a commission via executive order in order to discuss how the court should be structured going forward. Breyer has also reportedly come out against the idea of court packing in the past. 

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) recently seemed to voice her encouragement for Breyer to step down from his position. 

As reported by CNN in June, the congresswoman told Dana Bash, ”You know, it’s something I think about, but I would probably lean towards yes,” when asked if Breyer should retire when this Supreme Court term is over. “I would give more thought to it, but I’m inclined to say yes.”

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has said it is “highly unlikely” that a Biden Supreme Court pick would be confirmed with a Republican majority in the Senate in 2024. 

As The Daily Wire previously reported last month, liberals were beginning to get anxious about Biden not running for a second term, potentially paving the way for them to lose the chance to nominate a justice to the Supreme Court. 

“Liberals are nervous — so nervous that they’ve begun calling for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, 82, to step down soon so Biden can appoint a replacement. Breyer was appointed to the high court by President Bill Clinton,” The Daily Wire noted. 

Now, the stakes are even higher as the Supreme Court term draws to a close. 

NPR reported on Wednesday that progressives are hoping Breyer will step aside this week or in the future. 

“I think a lot of people who thought that silence was the best approach in 2013 came to regret that in the aftermath of [Ginsburg’s] untimely passing last year,” said Brian Fallon, executive director of Demand Justice. “I think it would be foolish of us to repeat this same mistake and to greet the current situation passively and not do everything we can to signal to Justice Breyer, that now is the time for him to step down.”

Fallon noted that while the Senate is split evenly down the middle right now, there is a chance for the majority to change at any time. 

“The Democrats are one heartbeat away from having control switch in the Senate,” he said. “There’s a lot of octogenarian senators, many of whom have Republican governors that might get to appoint a successor to them if the worst happened.”

He is also concerned about the 2022 elections where Republicans might have a very successful year in the wake of the Left’s push for radical progressive policies over the past year. 

“If [Senate Minority Leader] Mitch McConnell reassumes the Senate majority leader post, at worst, he might block any Biden pick, and at best, Biden is going to have to calibrate who he selects in order to get them through a Republican-held Senate,” he said. 

Erwin Chemerinsky, the dean of the University of California Berkeley School of Law, and Fallon both noted that the public outcry for Breyer to step down may have the opposite effect. 

“I’ve certainly heard from some that this might make him less likely to retire, perhaps to dig in his heels,” Chemerinsky said, per the outlet.

The Supreme Court is expected to give its last opinions of the term on Thursday.

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