(FiveNation.com)- Many progressive Democrats are calling for liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire. They want the 82-year-old to step down from his post soon while Democrats still have control of the U.S. Senate and a Democrat is in the White House.
But, this week, one prominent Democratic senator said she doesn’t believe that Breyer should step down.
California Senator Dianne Feinstein said Breyer’s retirement would be a “great loss” for the Supreme Court.
Feinstein is no stranger to calls from younger progressives in her party calling for an older leader to step down to make way for new blood. At 87 years old, Feinstein drew the ire of progressive members of her party when she didn’t press Republicans hard enough during last year’s confirmation hearing for Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett.
Many younger progressives in her party — including California Governor Gavin Newsom — called for her to retire so that a younger, more representative senator could step in for her. To this point, she has refused to do so, saying she will serve out the remainder of her term, which is still a few years away.
Commenting to CNN Thursday about Breyer, she said:
“My general belief is, if a person is serving with integrity and working hard and producing for whatever the constituency is, that’s what these jobs are all about.”
Progressive groups have started to push hard for Breyer to retire. In April, Demand Justice, an ultra-liberal group, drove a truck near the U.S. Capitol building with the message “Breyer, retire” on it. It also warned him: “Don’t risk your legacy.”
The other side of the truck read: “It’s time for Black woman Supreme Court justice. There’s no time to waste.”
Mondaire Jones, a new Democratic Representative from New York, said there’s “no question” Breyer should step down during President Joe Biden’s time in the White House.
He even went as far as bringing up the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. He said her passing was untimely, seeing as she died two months before the 2020 presidential election. That allowed former President Donald Trump to push through the conservative Barrett as her replacement while he was still in office and while Republicans still had the majority in the Senate.
“My goodness, have we not learned our lesson?”
But, within the next four years is not enough for some liberals. Progressive Democrats are very worried that Republicans are going to take back control of the U.S. Senate in the 2022 midterm elections. Therefore, they want Breyer to step down as soon as possible so that Biden can try to push through a replacement nominee while Democrats still have control of the upper chamber.
While there is a 50-50 split of Republicans and Democrats in the Senate, Democrats hold the technical majority. Vice President Kamala Harris breaks all tie votes.
For now, Biden has tried to remain out of the debate over whether Breyer should retire. Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, recently commented on the president’s position by saying:
“He believes that’s a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it’s time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court.”