New York Times op-ed calls for Justice Breyer to retire 'immediately'

Justice Stephen Breyer on ‘FNS’

Rare, exclusive interview with sitting Supreme Court justice

An op-ed published on Monday by The New York Times is calling on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire “immediately” while a Democrat is in the White House. 

University of Colorado Boulder law professor Paul Campos began his piece by saying the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who passed away last year at 87 years old, was “deservedly” criticized for refusing to retire during the Obama presidency and that 82-year-old Breyer is “making a similar and arguably even more egregious mistake.”

Campos slammed the “evident indifference” the part of Democrats for not pushing Breyer towards retirement as the party’s 50-seat control of the Senate could easily be handed over to a Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell following the 2022 midterms, calling such inaction a “grave mistake.”

“What are the odds that something like this — a senator’s death, disabling health crisis or departure from office for other reasons — will happen sometime in this Congress’s remaining 22 months?” Campos asked. “Alarmingly for Democrats, if history is any guide, the odds are quite high. Since the end of World War II, 27 of the 38 Congresses have featured a change in the party composition of the Senate during a session.”

After listing the Democratic Senate seats from GOP governor-controlled states and others that would lead to special elections, he warned, “All things considered, the odds that Democrats will lose control of the Senate in the next 22 months are probably close to a coin flip.”

FILE – In this Jan. 25, 2011, file photo, President Barack Obama hugs Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on Capitol Hill in Washington, prior to delivering his State of the Union address. From left are, Chief Justice John Roberts, Justice Anthony Kennedy, Obama, Justice Ginsburg and Justice Stephen Breyer. Ruth Bader Ginsburg died at her home in Washington, on Sept. 18, 2020, the Supreme Court announced. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, Pool, File)

Campos called the Democrats’ “very real risk” of being unable to replace Breyer “unacceptable.”

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“He should announce his retirement immediately, effective upon the confirmation of his successor. For him to continue to make the same gamble that Justice Ginsburg made and lost runs the risk of tainting his legacy as a justice and has the potential to be an anti-democratic disaster for the nation as a whole,” Campos concluded. 

The op-ed comes months after President Trump filled Ginsburg’s vacant seat with now-Justice Amy Coney Barrett in the weeks leading up to the 2020 presidential election. 

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