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Tags: Supreme Court | democrats | biden | stephen breyer

Biden to Let Breyer Decide When to Retire

Biden to Let Breyer Decide When to Retire
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer poses for the official group photo at the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington, D.C., on Nov. 30, 2018. (Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Friday, 09 April 2021 06:34 PM

President Joe Biden will leave the decision of when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer should retire to the 82-year-old liberal jurist, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday.

"He believes that's a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it's time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court," Psaki said during her daily media briefing.

The statement comes on the same day Biden announced he was creating a commission to study expanding the number of seats on the court, a tactic Republicans have likened to a threat to "packing" the court to intimidate its conservative members.

It also comes as liberal advocacy groups have begun to pressure Breyer, who has been on the court since being appointed in 1994 by then-President Bill Clinton, to step down now while Democrats control not only the presidency but the Senate. 

The Constitution does not specify the number of justices who serve on the Supreme Court, but Breyer himself on Tuesday told a Harvard Law School audience that adding justices would undermine the court's credibility.

''If the public sees justices as 'politicians in robes,' its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court's power, including its power to act as a 'check' on the other branches,'' he said.

Besides Breyer, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell also called Biden's commission to consider adding seats "a direct assault on our nation's independent judiciary."

According to The Washington Post, the White House released a statement explaining the motives of the commission.

"The topics it will examine include the genesis of the reform debate; the Court's role in the Constitutional system; the length of service and turnover of justices on the Court; the membership and size of the Court; and the Court's case selection, rules, and practice," it said.

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Politics
President Joe Biden will leave the decision of when U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer should retire to the 82-year-old liberal jurist, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday. "He believes that's a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it's time...
democrats, biden, stephen breyer
306
2021-34-09
Friday, 09 April 2021 06:34 PM
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