Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who became the senior liberal member of the high court after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg last fall, said on Wednesday that he has no immediate plans for retirement.
Since the death of Ginsburg, many liberals and some Democrat Congress members have called on Breyer to resign so that President Joe Biden could name a younger liberal judge to the court while Democrats hold a razor thin majority.
Breyer turns 83 in August and has been on the high court for 27 years. He says that currently, he is satisfied with his role on the court, and has no plans to step down.
The Left tried to bully him and ended up annoying him. I hope he hangs in there until November 2024
Stephen Breyer tells CNN he hasn't decided his retirement plans – CNNPolitics https://t.co/6rh3po4kdN
— Dinesh D'Souza (@DineshDSouza) July 15, 2021
A New Era
During his interview with CNN, Breyer said that there are two main factors in any retirement decision: “Primarily, of course, health, second, the court.” He continued saying that his new position on the court, “has made a difference to me. … It is not a fight. It is not sarcasm. It is deliberation.”
He said this is especially true during private discussions among the Justices.
With the death of Ginsburg and the appointment by former President Donald Trump of Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, the 5-4 split in the court became, at least nominally, a 6-3 split.
Just one appointee by Biden would not change the ideological bent.
One of the things that come with Breyer’s new seniority is the power to assign the opinion when the liberal Justices vote together.
He says he does his best to distribute dissents in high profile cases between himself, Justice Elena Kagan, and Justice Sonia Sotomayor.
NEW: In interviews, five of Justice Stephen Breyer's former clerks said they were surprised, to varying degrees, that the justice did not announce his retirement at the end of the Supreme Court term – by @cryanbarber ($) @thisisinsider https://t.co/cNIL6J3Ufe
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) July 12, 2021
Left Wants Breyer To Resign
Reaction from the left on social media was one of outrage and an assured apocalypse. The offerings on Twitter portrayed Justice Breyer as an arrogant egomaniac bent on thwarting liberal causes.
An example of some of the tweets looked like this:
super awesome to see Steve Breyer just absolutely not give a shit about anyone other than himself, a perfect reflection of the me-first-screw-everyone-else narcissism that defines politics today https://t.co/716eDgOFyw
— David Sirota (@davidsirota) July 15, 2021
Sirota’s comments were echoed by others.
Imagine being Stephen Breyer, having open to you the possible honor of ushering in the first Black woman to the Supreme Court, and instead you decide that you, at 82, are too important, or having "too much fun," or too close to "hitting your stride," to leave the Court. https://t.co/Fa6QDiPnje
— Jeremy Press (@JeremyPress1) July 7, 2021
Then there was @anthelonious who knows democracy is near its end:
In summary: "I like having power and wearing robe, even if it ruins lives and/or our democracy."https://t.co/uouHv09T3L
— Brown Anthony (@anthelonious) July 15, 2021
But the most telling of what happens when the left does not get its way goes to appropriately named, @_inane:
I am now pro-elder abuse thanks to the continued efforts of Stephen Breyer.
— Alex (@_inane) July 15, 2021
According to CNN, when Justice Breyer was asked directly if he had decided when he would step down, he simply said, “no.”
In his time on the nation’s highest court, Justice Breyer has been involved in decisions of some signifiant cases.
In 2000, he wrote the majority opinion for Stenberg v. Carhart, which ruled that a Nebraska law banning partial-birth abortions was unconstitutional because it interfered too heavily with the right of a woman to decide her own abortion.
In 2015, Breyer wrote the dissent for Glossip v. Gross, which dealt with the constitutionality of Oklahoma’s lethal injection process. The standout of the dissent was that Breyer stated that he wished the court would reassess the constitutionality of the death penalty.
Interesting to see tenured academics yell at Stephen Breyer for not wanting to give up his tenure.
— Adam Thal (@adam_thal) July 15, 2021
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