May 14, 2021

SENDING THE CHIEF MORE HELP:

Justice Stephen Breyer risks making a historic blunder (Lindsay Beyerstein, 5/13/21, Alternet)

United States Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer is facing calls to retire before the 2022 congressional elections so that his successor can be confirmed while the Democrats have control of the United States Senate. The 82-year-old Breyer has signaled he's reluctant to retire because he doesn't want to be perceived as partisan.

But surely the principles that guide a judge on the bench are also relevant. Breyer's career can be defined by the defense of what he calls "active liberty," which boils down to democracy, the constitutional principle that the people should control government.

Breyer's judicial philosophy can be distilled to two key ideas. One, that the purpose of the Constitution is to preserve democracy and judges should interpret it in that light. Two that judges should take the practical consequences of their decisions into account. As a jurist, Breyer is often described as the most pragmatic justice. All of these are arguments for why the 82-year-old Breyer should retire immediately.

This is a conservative dream.  Given that Senators Manchin, Kelly, and Sinema have a veto, the voice will be someone collegially conservative, like Merrick Garland, providing another vote against the wings: Sotomayor, Thomas, Alito.   

Posted by at May 14, 2021 12:00 AM

  

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