OPINION: This article contains commentary which reflects the author's opinion
Many Democrats have called on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire before there could be a Republican Senate that could prevent Joe Biden from getting a Justice of his choice to replace him.
Justice Breyer has maintained that he has no plans to retire right now, but Alan Dershowitz, a legal expert, believes that the justice could retire next year, Newsmax reported.
“Next August, he will retire,” he said. ” “That will give the president the power to appoint somebody before there’s a new Senate. So, everybody on the left will be happy, and Breyer will be able to say, ‘I didn’t give in to pressure.’ That’s my prediction.”
“My prediction: One year from now, after next term, he will leave,” he said. “He might have left earlier if not for the pressures.
“He does not want to be perceived as giving in to pressures. So he’s going to wait a year,” he said.
Justice Breyer has ignored the calls on him retire and, in an interview with CNN, gave no indication that retirement was on his mind.
In a CNN exclusive, to the disappointment of many liberals, Justice Breyer said he does not have any retirement plans right now.
He said he has not made a decision on when to retire and he is currently relishing his role as the senior liberal on the court since the passing of Justice Ginsburg.
Justice Breyer, who has been on the court for 27 years, said there are two prevailing factors in any retirement decision he makes.
“Primarily, of course, health,” the Justice, who will be 83 in August, said. “Second, the court.”
Liberals, including some Democrat lawmakers, were putting pressure on Breyer to retire at the end of this previous session of the court, but he has no such plans.
“There’s no question that Justice Breyer, for whom I have great respect, should retire at the end of this term,” Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones said to Cheddar News in an interview in April.
“My goodness: have we not learned our lesson?” he said, referring to Ginsburg’s seat being filled by Donald Trump.
When asked directly over coffee in rural New Hampshire whether he had decided when to step down, Breyer said simply, “No.”
He brushed aside questions about the timing of a decision but was willing to speak about the factors that would influence him, including regard for the court. He also elaborated on the satisfaction his leadership role on the left-wing has brought.
Breyer said his new seniority in the justices’ private discussion over cases “has made a difference to me. … It is not a fight. It is not sarcasm. It is deliberation.”
When the justices meet in conference now on cases it is Chief Justice John Roberts who speaks first, followed by Justice Clarence Thomas who has three decades on the court and, now that Justice Ginsburg has passed, comes Breyer who is third in line, and the first liberal to speak.
“You have to figure out what you’re going to say in conference to a greater extent, to get it across simply,” he said to CNN. “You have to be flexible, hear other people, and be prepared to modify your views. But that doesn’t mean (going in with) a blank mind.”
Some Democrats were incensed with Justice Breyer’s decision to not retire right now.
“This just reflects a pathological disregard for other human beings at this point with the consequences made clear by Ginsburg’s death,” Adam Serwer, a writer for The Atlantic, said.
This just reflects a pathological disregard for other human beings at this point with the consequences made clear by Ginsburg’s death https://t.co/JUPMK5mPla
— Adam Serwer 🍝 (@AdamSerwer) July 15, 2021
“Breyer’s health is not the only factor here. He is also gambling on the health of 50 Democratic senators over the next year,” Brian Fallon, former national press secretary for Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign, said.
Breyer's health is not the only factor here. He is also gambling on the health of 50 Democratic senators over the next year.https://t.co/aqZQZ1EKMQ
— Brian Fallon (@brianefallon) July 15, 2021