Now Adding to the Breyer Pile-On: Legal Whizzes

Group of scholars say 'remarkable jurist' should retire while Biden can have successor confirmed
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 17, 2021 4:34 AM CDT
Updated Jun 17, 2021 6:52 AM CDT
Legal Scholars Urge Breyer to Step Down
In this April 23, 2021 photo, Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer sits during a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington.   (Erin Schaff/The New York Times via AP, Pool)

At 82 years and 10 months of age, Stephen Breyer is the oldest justice on the Supreme Court and one of the oldest serving justices in the court's history—and he is coming under increasing pressure to step down so President Biden can nominate a successor. A group of 18 legal academics has issued a letter saying that while Breyer, nominated by Bill Clinton in 1994, is a "remarkable jurist," the time has come for him to retire "without delay," the Guardian reports. The letter, which will appear in advertisements Friday, follows Sen. Mitch McConnell's remark last week that if he becomes Senate majority leader again, he would probably block any Biden nominations to the Supreme Court in 2023 and 2024.

Another advertisement urging Breyer to step down and allow Biden to "fulfill his pledge to put the first Black woman on the Supreme Court," endorsed by 13 progressive groups, was released Wednesday. Democrats who believe Ruth Bader Ginsburg made a "terrible miscalculation" by not retiring in her early 80s when former President Obama could nominate a successor are increasingly frustrated by Breyer's apparent reluctance to step down, the New York Times reports. CNN notes that Breyer, one of the court's three remaining liberal justices, seems to be in excellent health and he has made no public comments suggesting he is ready to retire. (A woman widely considered to be the frontrunner to replace Breyer won confirmation to the DC appeals court Monday.)

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