OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Joe Biden will let U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer decide when he’s ready to retire, according to White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki.
“He believes that’s a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it’s time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court,” Psaki said.
The statement comes after Biden announced last Friday that he would be forming a commission that will perform a 180-day study of potential changes to the Supreme Court, including court-packing and setting term limits for justices.
“The Commission’s purpose is to provide an analysis of the principal arguments in the contemporary public debate for and against Supreme Court reform, including an appraisal of the merits and legality of particular reform proposals,” the White House said in a statement.
“The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court’s role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court’s case selection, rules, and practices,” the White House added.
The order comes after Liberal Justice Stephen Breyer cautioned earlier this week that court-packing for political gain could undermine public trust in the court and its decisions.
“If the public sees judges as ‘politicians in robes,’ its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power, including its power to act as a ‘check’ on the other branches,” the justice said.
“The court’s decision in the 2000 presidential election case, Bush v. Gore, is often referred to as an example of its favoritism of conservative causes,” he said. “But the court did not hear or decide cases that affected the political disagreements arising out of the 2020 [Trump v. Biden] election.”
The liberal justice, who at 82 years old is the oldest judge on the court, has faced calls from progressive groups to retire while Democrats control the Senate and the confirmation process.
The late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg also expressed her concerns about packing the court before her death.
“Nine seems to be a good number. It’s been that way for a long time,” Justice Ginsburg said. “I think it was a bad idea when President Franklin Roosevelt tried to pack the court.”
Use promo code "BRIEF"
and save up to 66%
Conservative Brief benefits when you use this promo code
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also called Biden’s commission “a direct assault on our nation’s independent judiciary and another sign of the Far Left’s influence over the Biden administration.”
He cited statements of more progressive members of the court like Justice William Breyer and Ginsburg cautioning against such a move.
“The president spent much of his campaign playing coy on the issue, but has now admitted from the safety of a four-year term that he views the judiciary as ‘out of whack,’” McConnell said.