Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) said “now would be the right time” for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, adding his voice to others on the left pushing for a retirement in time for Democrats to confirm his replacement before the 2022 midterms.
MSNBC host Lawrence O’Donnell asked, “Are you hoping that Justice Breyer creates a vacancy on the Supreme Court this summer?”
“Well, now would be the right time,” Whitehouse said. “And if I believed it would do any good to say that, then I’d probably say that. But, you know, you get on the Supreme Court and you get those robes and you make your own decisions, and I don’t know that senators trying to tell you what to do actually makes that decision easier, rather than harder.”
Breyer is 83 years old, and could face health challenges at any time. He is the oldest member of the court, and Democrats are no doubt afraid of another situation where liberal nominees could be blocked until Republicans retook the majority of the Senate or the presidency.
Even though the president will be a Democrat until 2024, the Senate could go back to the Republicans in 2022, which would give them the ability to block any truly liberal nominees with a simple majority.
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