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People Really Need to Leave Justice Breyer Alone

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Posted: May 02, 2021 7:30 PM
People Really Need to Leave Justice Breyer Alone

Source: Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool

Here we go again. Liberals are once more demanding that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer get a move on when it comes to his retirement plans. Less than two weeks ago, Reagan reported that the Women's March is calling on the associate justice to retire. Shortly before that, she reported that the far-left Demand Justice was calling on him to retire. The White House mostly left him to fend for himself. Over the weekend, the tweets and the chatter came once more.

It looks like this Onion article, "Democrats Throw Justice Breyer Surprise Retirement Party Hoping He’ll Just Go With It," reinvigorated too many strong feelings on how Breyer has to leave the bench. 

Aside from the Onion, the chatter comes from the leadership over at Demand Justice, which includes Brian Fallon as the executive director. There's also Chris Kang, the co-founder and chief counsel of the group, who spoke in favor of court packing when Democrats introduced such legislation last month. And it's pretty obsessive.

On Saturday, John Kruzel with the Hill reported that "Court watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement." He opens his piece with pointing out "The possibility of Justice Stephen Breyer’s imminent retirement is hanging over the Supreme Court as the current term enters its final weeks and Democrats cling to the slimmest of Senate majorities." 

Desperate, much?

Justice Breyer hasn't said much. "For his part, Breyer has said little in public about the prospect of his retirement," Kruzel reported. Where he did opine was on coming out against court packing, which is around the time Demand Justice ramped up their calls for him to retire. 

Granted, Kruzel does explain that for Breyer to purposefully retire soon, while a Democratic president is in office, would be to "follow the modern trend," a form of "strategic retirement."

Harvard Law professor Mark Tushnet thinks the odds of Breyer retiring are at "in the 70-percent range." Then again, why force it, is another take fair to the justice's own desires:

Breyer is the court’s oldest justice, born a decade before his next oldest colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas, 72, the court’s most conservative member.

But unlike Ginsburg — who faced multiple bouts of cancer before finally succumbing to the disease — Breyer has had no known health scares, other than a shoulder fracture he sustained in a 2013 bicycle accident. And by all outward indications, Breyer still enjoys the job.

Some court watchers who spoke to The Hill think Breyer may remain on the court for another year. They note that he already hired a full set of clerks for next term, and barring some unforeseen circumstances, Democrats would still control the Senate in summer 2022.

“If Breyer thinks he can still do the job well and he enjoys it, why leave?” said Ben Johnson, a law professor at Penn State University. “It’s every lawyer’s dream gig!”

Even if Justice Breyer is here to stay--honestly, let the man decide for himself--and the court packing legislation doesn't go anywhere--which we seem to be safe from--this is one more display of how hellbent the Democrats and their allies are in changing the foundation of our country.