New Justice Will Have Little Power to Thwart Supreme Court's Rightward Lurch
Added 01-28-22 01:40:04am EST - “The replacement of Justice Stephen G. Breyer with another liberal is unlikely to alter the basic dynamic at the court or to slow its accelerating conservative ambitions.” - Nytimes.com
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The replacement of Justice Stephen G. Breyer with another liberal is unlikely to alter the basic dynamic at the court or to slow its accelerating conservative ambitions.
WASHINGTON — Justice Stephen G. Breyer’s successor at the Supreme Court may turn out to possess a blazing intellect, infectious charm and fresh liberal perspectives. But there is no reason to think the new justice will be able to slow the court’s accelerating drive to the right.
Indeed, the court’s trajectory may have figured in Justice Breyer’s retirement calculations, said Kate Shaw, a professor at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. “There’s a good chance,” she said, “that the dynamics on the current court — both the speed and magnitude of the change that’s coming — had some impact on Breyer’s decision to go now.”
He may have figured, she suggested, that someone else might as well try to stand in the way of a juggernaut committed to fulfilling, and fast, the conservative legal movement’s wish list in cases on abortion, guns, race, religion and voting.
In a letter to President Biden on Thursday, Justice Breyer, 83, said he would step down at the end of the Supreme Court’s current term, in June or July, if his successor has been confirmed by then. But that liberal-for-liberal swap will do nothing to alter the power and ambitions of the court’s six-member conservative supermajority.
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