Stephen Breyer, 85, good with age limits for Supreme Court; shares thoughts on Dobbs ruling leaker

Former Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, 85, isn’t against age limits for justices.

In fact, he told NBC’s “Meet the Press” moderator Kristen Welker on Sunday, that such a policy would have helped him arrive at an easier decision about his own retirement.

“I don’t think that’s harmful,” Breyer said. “If you had long terms, for example, they’d have to be long. Why long? Because I don’t think you want someone who’s appointed to the Supreme Court to be thinking about his next job.”

“And so, a 20-year term? I don’t know, 18? Long term? Fine. Fine,” he said. “I don’t think that would be harmful. I think it would have helped, in my case. It would have avoided, for me, going through difficult decisions when you retire. What’s the right time? And so, that would be okay.”

Former President Bill Clinton appointed Breyer in 1994. After more than 27 years, he stepped down in 2022 and was replaced by President Biden’s nomination, DEI diva, Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson.

With Biden’s shot at a second term still struggling in the polls, some Democrats are now calling for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to retire and allow a younger leftist to replace her on the bench.

In an op-ed for The Atlantic, Josh Barro argued, Sotomayor “will turn 70 in June.”

“If she retires this year, President Joe Biden will nominate a young and reliably liberal judge to replace her,” he wrote. “Republicans do not control the Senate floor and cannot force the seat to be held open like they did when Scalia died.”

“Confirmation of the new justice will be a slam dunk, and liberals will have successfully shored up one of their seats on the Court—playing the kind of defense that is smart and prudent when your only hope of controlling the Court again relies on both the timing of the death or retirement of conservative judges and not losing your grip on the three seats you already hold,” he stated.

White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre, asked to comment on Barro’s piece, said whether to retire or not is “a personal decision” for Sotomayor “to make.”

“It’s not something that we lean in on or get involved in,” Jean-Pierre told reporters aboard Air Force One. “So, I’m not even going to address that question,”

Justice Breyer also weighed in on the explosive Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Supreme Court decision, which returned the right to legislate abortion to the states, where the Consitution says it belongs.

According to Breyer, it’s “possible” that future Supreme Court justices could overturn the ruling.

“But who knows?” he added.

He did say that he believed a 15-week compromise on abortion could have been reached.

“I always think it’s possible,” Breyer said, choosing his words carefully, “usually up until the last minute.”

As for who leaked the Dobbs decision, Breyer stated, “I’d be amazed if it was a judge.”

Melissa Fine


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