Jun 13, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Ocasio-Cortez says Justice Breyer should retire

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) told CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday she thinks Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer should retire at the end of the court's term to allow President Biden to name a successor.

Flashback: The comments come less than a year after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which allowed President Trump to fill a vacant seat with a conservative judge before he lost the presidential election.

  • Breyer, who Bill Clinton appointed in 1994, is the oldest justice on the court at 82.

What she's saying: "It's something that I’d think about but I would probably lean toward yes. But yes, you're asking me this question so I've just — I would give more thought to it, but I'm inclined to say yes,” Ocasio-Cortez responded.

“We have had very difficult experiences with making, I believe the opposite mistake, and especially if Senate Democrats are not going to pass reforms on HR 1, we cannot rely solely on a wish of winning elections, particularly in the Senate when voting rights are under attack in Georgia, Arizona and Texas across the country.”
“And if we're not going to pass HR 1 with the preemptive clauses that can roll some of that voter suppression attacks back, yeah, I believe that we should protect our Supreme Court and I bet that should absolutely be a consideration.”
— Ocasio-Cortez on whether Breyer should retire to be replaced with another liberal justice

Worth noting: Breyer told Axios on HBO last year he feels healthy and has no plans to retire. He said who the president is and what the balance on the court could become is "not totally irrelevant" for a justice to consider.

  • "I don't really think about it" he said about retirement, "I enjoy what I'm doing."
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