Justice Breyer Says He Has No Plans to Leave Supreme Court

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U.S.|Justice Breyer, nether unit to discontinue from the Supreme Court, says helium has not decided connected his future.


Progressives person  called for Justice Stephen G. Breyer to measurement   down   soon   truthful  that President Biden tin  prime   his successor.
Credit...Erin Schaff/The New York Times
  • July 15, 2021, 11:27 a.m. ET

Justice Stephen G. Breyer, 82, says helium has nary plans to discontinue contempt calls from progressives demanding the 27-year Supreme Court seasoned measurement down voluntarily to guarantee that Senate Democrats person the powerfulness to prime a wide successor.

Justice Breyer, speaking to CNN successful an interrogation posted Thursday, said helium had not decided connected his aboriginal but was relishing his caller relation arsenic dean of the court’s remaining liberals aft Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s death past twelvemonth gave conservatives a commanding six-to-three bulk acknowledgment to her replacement, Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

When asked what factors volition find his decision, Justice Breyer replied, “Primarily, of course, health,” adding, “Second, the court.”

Some progressives person called upon Justice Breyer to measurement down immediately, citing the fragility of the Democrats’ slim power of the deadlocked 50-50 Senate, which is contingent connected the tiebreaking ballot by Vice President Kamala Harris.

Senator Mitch McConnell, the Republican leader, blocked President Barack Obama’s assignment of Merrick B. Garland to the precocious tribunal pursuing the decease of blimpish Antonin Scalia successful 2016. Mr. Garland is present President Biden’s lawyer general.

Mr. McConnell rammed done the confirmation of Justice Barrett conscionable implicit a week earlier the 2020 predetermination — and galore Democrats judge helium volition beryllium capable to artifact immoderate nominee projected by Mr. Biden if Republicans triumph backmost power of the Senate successful 2022.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, a person of the Democratic Party’s near wing, has joined different New York progressive, Representative Mondaire Jones, successful suggesting Justice Breyer measurement aside.

“You know, it’s thing I deliberation about, but I would astir apt thin towards yes,” Ms. Ocasio-Cortez said erstwhile asked connected Sunday whether Justice Breyer should discontinue soon. “I would springiness much thought to it, but I’m inclined to accidental yes.”

But Justice Breyer, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the tribunal successful 1994, is showing nary signs of a speedy exit, saying that helium is enjoying a caller presumption of power connected the tribunal arsenic the astir elder of a wide faction that includes Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor.

During the league that conscionable ended, helium besides assumed a cardinal relation connected bulk decisions that spanned the court’s ideological camps, including the third, and possibly decisive, rejection of a situation to the Affordable Care Act.

Justice Breyer said his caller spot successful the wide tribunal pecking bid — helium present gets to talk 3rd successful deliberations aft Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Clarence Thomas — “has made a quality to me.”

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