In an interview
, Supreme Court
Justice Stephen Breyer
stated that he has not decided when he will retire
The high court's 27-year veteran
also expressed gratitude for his role as the court's senior liberal.
Progressive groups have urged Breyer, who will turn 83 in August, to resign so that President Joe Biden
can name a replacement while Democrats
hold the Senate
Replacing Breyer with another liberal would not change the court's makeup, but it would maintain the status quo. The Supreme Court currently has six conservative justices and three liberal justices.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
(R-Ky.) stated in June that allowing Biden to fill a Supreme Court vacancy in 2024 if Republicans
regain control of the Senate is “highly unlikely.”
Justice Stephen Breyer has not decided when he will retire and is especially pleased with his new role as the court's senior liberal, he told @JoanBiskupic in an exclusive interview.https://t.co/IpZTDN6w0Y
pic.twitter.com/XXDG3f7qbv — New Day
(@NewDay) July 15, 2021
Breyer's remarks may irritate progressives
the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's refusal to retire under President Barack Obama
, and the nomination of conservative Justice Amy Coney Barrett
to Ginsburg's seat by former President Donald Trump
after her death
“By all appearances, Justice Breyer is intent on making us all hold our collective breath that no Democratic
senators fall ill over the next year in order to indulge his desire to continue serving on the Court,” Brian Fallon, executive director of the progressive advocacy group Demand Justice, said Thursday in a statement
“This new report suggests Justice Breyer’s desire to stay is based less on a lofty notion that he might somehow preserve the Court’s reputation for independence, and more on the fact that he finds it personally fulfilling to serve as the Court’s senior liberal,” Fallon added.
In an interview with CNN, Breyer stated that his health
was the most important factor in his decision-making, followed by the court, and he expressed satisfaction with his newfound seniority on the court following Ginsburg's death.
In private deliberations, he stated, seniority "has made a difference to me.... It is not a fight. It is not sarcasm. It is deliberation."