Sep 12, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Stephen Breyer says politics of potential replacement could factor into his retirement

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Sunday said that "many factors" will play into the timing of his retirement, suggesting that the chances of a Republican president appointing his successor is among them.

What he's saying: "I see the point, and probably in the background, there could be something there. There are many considerations," Breyer said when asked if it was a factor in an interview with "Fox News Sunday."

  • Breyer said he is also factoring “the role of the court" and "institutional considerations."
  • "I don't intend to die on the court," Breyer said, repeating earlier comments. "I don't think I will be there forever."

"I think they're entitled to their opinion," Breyer said about the people calling for his retirement. "Not only, they understand the political world much better than I, or they understand it pretty well."

Why it matters: Breyer has faced increased pressure to retire from some Democrats, fearing a situation similar to the death of former Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, which allowed former President Trump to select a conservative replacement shortly before the end of his term.

  • Breyer, the court's oldest justice at 83, declined to give a timeline on him potentially leaving the court during an NPR interview last week.
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