Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is finally going to retire from the high court after an ongoing Democrat pressure campaign to protect his seat from a Republican nomination in the future:
ABC NEWS – Justice Stephen G. Breyer, the most senior member of the U.S. Supreme Court’s liberal wing and staunch defender of a nonpartisan judiciary, is retiring from the bench, fulfilling the wish of Democrats who lobbied for his exit and clearing the way for President Joe Biden’s first high court appointment.
Breyer, the court’s oldest member at 83, will step down despite apparent good health, deep passion for the job and active involvement in cases. This term he authored major opinions upholding the Affordable Care Act, affirming free speech rights of students off-campus and resolving a multi-billion dollar copyright dispute between two titans of American technology, Google and Oracle.
While Breyer has disavowed political considerations, many will see them in his decision to leave now. Stepping down early in the Biden presidency and while Democrats retain a razor-thin majority in the U.S. Senate will help ensure his seat is filled with someone who shares his judicial philosophy.
“It’s a highly personal decision,” Breyer told ABC News of retirement in a 2015 interview.
Progressive activists had imposed unprecedented public pressure on Breyer, who was nominated in 1994 by President Bill Clinton, to retire quickly. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said in June that the GOP may block a Democratic appointment to the court if the party retakes control of the Senate next year and a vacancy occurs in 2023 or 2024.
Remember Chris Wallace earlier this year practically begging Breyer to resign? It looks like he and his progressive counterparts have won.
But this isn’t just about keeping his seat. Democrats need a way to invigorate their base with the elections coming this year and nothing does that like a good Supreme Court nomination.
However given that this won’t have any effect on the court’s majority, it may not be as invigorating as they hope.