Court watchers buzz about Breyer's possible retirement
Added 05-01-21 07:56:03am EST - “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.” - Thehill.com
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The possibility of Justice Stephen BreyerStephen BreyerSenate hears from Biden's high-profile judicial nominees for first time Acting FTC chair urges Congress to revive agency authority after Supreme Court decision Schumer waiting for recommendation on Supreme Court expansion MORE’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.
With the death of liberal stalwart Justice Ruth Bader GinsburgRuth Bader GinsburgFive hot-button issues Biden didn't mention in his address to Congress Schumer waiting for recommendation on Supreme Court expansion Get woke, go broke: Pious, political Oscars crashes, loses tens of millions of viewers MORE still resonant, a number of court watchers expect that Breyer, 82, will announce his departure this summer, clearing the way for President BidenJoe BidenAmericans for Prosperity launches campaign targeting six Democrats to keep filibuster Washington's split with Turkey widens — but it is up to Turkey to heal the rift Incomes, consumer spending soared in March as stimulus bill boosted recovering economy MORE and Senate Democrats to fill his seat.
“I’m sure Breyer realizes what a blow Justice Ginsburg’s non-retirement was to the possibility of ever having an even mildly progressive Court in our lifetime. And that describes Breyer — mildly progressive,” said Dan Kobil, a law professor at Capital University. “So I think he would not want to double down on what many view as her miscalculation.”
For his part, Breyer has said little in public about the prospect of his retirement. In an interview with Axios last year, the Clinton nominee said obliquely that factors like who the president is and the ideological makeup of the court were “not totally irrelevant” as justices weigh when to leave the bench.
Over the last 50 years, Supreme Court justices have tended to step down when the White House is held by the same party as the president who appointed them, a dynamic some legal scholars refer to as a “strategic retirement.”
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