Bernstein: Justices Ginsburg, Breyer Should Retire While Dems Still in Power

Wednesday, 12 Mar 2014 11:44 AM

 

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
|  A   A  
  Copy Shortlink
Republicans won a nice victory in the Florida special congressional election on Tuesday, which the more gullible and/or excitable pundits are already overhyping.

But via e-mail, I received a reminder that Democrats should be rooting for an audience of two to be similarly over-interpreting the results: Supreme Court Justices Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg. If the justices previously believed it a safe bet that they would be replaced by mainstream liberal justices when they retire, perhaps now they'll realize their only reasonable course of action is to retire this spring, pending confirmed replacements.

What Ginsburg and Breyer want, of course, is up to them. If their goal is to serve on the court as long as possible, then they should stay. Both, I should note, seem to be at the top of their games. Breyer, 75, and Ginsburg, who will turn 81 this week, might have a dozen or more years to go.

Yet there is simply no way of knowing whether Democrats will maintain a majority in the next Senate, or the one after that. There's also no way of knowing when the next Democratic presidential victory might be.

Yes, some Democrats (and perhaps some pessimistic Republicans) have convinced themselves that Democrats now have a demographic or electoral college lock on the White House, but that's hooey. At best, Democrats have a very slim edge, one that could easily be swamped by the normal ebbs and flows of events, or disappear just as rapidly as it emerged.

If Republicans win a Senate majority in 2014, there's no guarantee they'll confirm anyone, no matter how moderate, to the Supreme Court during the Kenyan socialist's final two years. Any Republican nominee for the court will be as Federalist-society solid as John Roberts or Samuel Alito.

Of course, that doesn't mean future justices will be perfectly predictable on every issue and case; the Supremes don't work like that. But overall, a court in which Breyer and Ginsburg are replaced by nominees from any conceivable Republican president will be a court that rapidly erases their legacies. There won't be any David Souters in the foreseeable future.

Ginsburg and Breyer might not prefer a Supreme Court that is highly partisan and ideologically divided, in which retirements are strategic moves. But that's the court they've got. If they care about the principles they've fought for, they should retire in time for confirmation battles this year.

Jonathan Bernstein covers U.S. politics for Bloomberg View. Follow him on Twitter at @JBPlainblog. Contact him at Jbernstein62@bloomberg.net.

© Copyright 2014 Bloomberg News. All rights reserved.

Share:
  Comment  |
   Contact Us  |
  Print  
  Copy Shortlink
Around the Web
Join the Newsmax Community
Please review Community Guidelines before posting a comment.
>> Register to share your comments with the community.
>> Login if you are already a member.
blog comments powered by Disqus
 
Email:
Country
Zip Code:
Privacy: We never share your email.
 
Hot Topics
Follow Newsmax
Like us
on Facebook
Follow us
on Twitter
Add us
on Google Plus
Around the Web
Top Stories
You May Also Like

Activist Suing Over NYC Refusal to Put Anti-Jihad Ad on Buses

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 20:00 PM

Activist Pamela Gellar is suing the New York City transit agency for refusing to place her anti-Jihadist ad on the city . . .

Panetta: Obama Wrong on Iraq Pullout, Failure to Arm Syrians

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 19:36 PM

Former Defense Secretary Leon Panetta says his old boss, President Barack Obama, erred when he failed to leave a residua . . .

Kerry Meets Iran's Zarif on Nuclear Issues

Sunday, 21 Sep 2014 18:46 PM

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry emerged from talks Sunday with Iranian Foreign Minister Mohamad Javad Zarif, saying W . . .

Most Commented

Newsmax, Moneynews, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, NewsmaxWorld, NewsmaxHealth, are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

 
NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
©  Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved