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Tags: justice sotomayor | retire | democrats

Dems Worry About Ginsburg Repeat on Supreme Court

By    |   Wednesday, 03 April 2024 03:57 PM EDT

Although Democrat senators are not officially joining calls for liberal Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to step down, they are expressing concern that history could repeat itself after Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's refusal to retire in 2014 resulted in the court moving moving sharply to the right, NBC News reported.

Ginsburg, then 81 and a cancer survivor, could have retired and been replaced by a Democrat appointee when then President Barack Obama was in office and his party controlled 55 Senate seats, but she did not do so and died in September 2020.

This allowed then-President Donald Trump to replace her with Justice Amy Coney Barrett and give the court a 6-3 conservative majority, with Barrett less than two year later casting a deciding vote to overturn the landmark Roe v. Wade abortion rights ruling.

With that in mind, some on the left are urging Sotomayor, 69, a lifelong diabetic and the oldest member of the court's liberal wing, to step down while Joe Biden is president and Democrats control the Senate.

Although none of the Democrat senators on the Judiciary Committee is publicly calling on Sotomayor to retire, fears exist that history will repeat itself and that a 7-2 conservative majority could develop in the court.

"I'm very respectful of Justice Sotomayor. I have great admiration for her. But I think she really has to weigh the competing factors," said Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn. "We should learn a lesson. And it's not like there's any mystery here about what the lesson should be. The old saying — graveyards are full of indispensable people, ourselves in this body included."

Blumenthal said Sotomayor is "a highly accomplished and, obviously, fully functioning justice right now." However, he added that "justices have to make their personal decisions about their health, and their level of energy, but also to keep in mind the larger national and public interest in making sure that the court looks and thinks like America."

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., the No. 2 Democrat on the committee, said he is "not joining any calls" for Sotomayor to leave the court, although he said that sometimes a couple of conservative justices "hold themselves back" and contain the scope of the court's rulings.

"Run it to 7-2 and you go from a captured court to a full MAGA court," Whitehouse said. "Certainly, I think if Justice Ginsburg had it to do over again, she might have rethought her confidence in her own health."

A flurry of op-eds on the issue, along with some law professors and legal advocacy groups, have been clear about the issue.

"This isn't personal," progressive People's Parity Project executive director Molly Coleman said. "This isn't about one individual justice. It's nothing to do with what an incredible legal talent Justice Sotomayor is. It's about what's in the best interests of the country moving forward."

Brian Freeman

Brian Freeman, a Newsmax writer based in Israel, has more than three decades writing and editing about culture and politics for newspapers, online and television.

© 2024 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Concerns are growing on the left that history could repeat itself after Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's refusal to retire in 2014 resulted in the court moving sharply to the right, NBC News reported.
justice sotomayor, retire, democrats
Wednesday, 03 April 2024 03:57 PM
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