Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will announce his retirement today

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer will announce his retirement today. Breyer is one of the few reliable “liberal justices” left on the court. He was appointed in 1994 by Bill Clinton, and he is 83 years old. Chances are pretty good that Breyer probably had some good years left in on the court, but he absolutely wanted to retire during a Democratic administration, when there was a better chance of getting a replacement through the Senate. It is believed that President Obama wanted Ruth Bader Ginsburg to retire during his administration so he could be the one to appoint a replacement. RBG refused, and her passing in 2020 led to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell shoving through Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination in a matter of weeks before the 2020 election. Breyer doesn’t want a repeat of that.

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the senior member of the Supreme Court’s three-member liberal wing and a persistent if often frustrated advocate of consensus as the court moved sharply to the right, will retire upon the confirmation of his successor, people familiar with the decision said, providing President Biden a chance to fulfill his pledge to nominate a Black woman.

Mr. Biden is expected to formally announce the retirement at the White House on Thursday, but the partisan machinery that has built up in recent decades around Supreme Court confirmations was already swinging into action on Wednesday as word of Justice Breyer’s decision raced through Washington.

[From The NY Times]

Thank you for your service, Justice Breyer. And thank you for at least trying to do the right thing and retire during a Democratic administration. People are already upset that this nomination is going to be a sh-tshow because of the timing. Peeps, it was always going to be a sh-tshow, no matter when Breyer retired. I’m glad he’s doing it now and not closer to the midterm elections.

One of the best takes on this was basically: Breyer knows the sh-t is about to hit the fan and he wants to get out while the getting is good. It’s true – the 2021/2022 SCOTUS decisions won’t come out until (most likely) June. Meaning, in June, we’ll have the decision on Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health, the case in which SCOTUS will likely overturn Roe v. Wade. We literally told everyone that the Supreme Court was at stake in 2016 and millions of people were like “but her emails!!!!”

— Gautam Hans (@dispositive) January 26, 2022

— Jordan Zakarin (@jordanzakarin) January 26, 2022

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