Progressives are itching for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire after 26 years of service in order to give President Joe Biden a chance to name a left-leaning replacement.
But according to the Associated Press, the 82-year-old juror has so far been silent about any potential plans to step down.
The pressure is on
First appointed to the high court by then-President Bill Clinton, Breyer has leaned solidly to the left throughout his more than a quarter-century on the Supreme Court bench. But months after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died suddenly last fall at the age of 87, liberals seem to be getting some uncomfortable flashbacks that have them hoping Breyer will make an earlier exit.
Indeed, the AP reports that many on the left were hoping Ginsburg would retire before former President Barack Obama left office. That would have teed up a chance for Obama to add another liberal justice to the Supreme Court.
But the “Notorious RBG” opted to stay on the job, and after her death last year, President Donald Trump was quick to name now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett to the bench, cementing a 6–3 majority for conservatives on the high court for what could be decades.
Now, leftists are reportedly hoping to avoid a 7–2 split by pressuring Breyer to resign while Dems hold the White House and the Senate, where justices appointed by the president must be confirmed.
The Democrats’ majority in the upper chamber could easily dissolve after the 2022 midterms, however — meaning the clock is ticking.
A ticking time bomb
Despite growing concerns from progressives, Breyer apparently remains blissful about his future — and he hasn’t given any indication that retirement is in his immediate plans.
The 82-year-old last commented on the matter in December 2020, according to the AP.
“I mean, eventually I’ll retire, sure I will. And it’s hard to know exactly when,” the justice said in an interview at the time.
Of course, Breyer’s lack of concern has done little to assuage the fears of Democrats across the nation. A 7–2 majority on the SCOTUS for conservatives would put a permanent stop to the Dems’ radical progressive agenda — and while that would certainly be a win for Americans, there’s no doubt those on the left will do everything they can to avoid it, including even packing the court, an idea that President Biden hasn’t ruled out.
If given the chance — thanks to Breyer or otherwise — Biden has vowed to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court, the AP reports. Names floated include Leondra Kruger, who currently serves as a justice on the California Supreme Court, and two U.S. District Court judges: Ketanji Brown Jackson and Michelle Childs.