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Justice Stephen Breyer during a group photo at the Supreme Court in April 2021. Photo: Erin Schaff/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told the New York Times in an interview Thursday that he is struggling to decide when to retire but said, "I don't think I’m going to stay there till I die — hope not."

Why it matters: Breyer, the oldest justice at 83 years old, has faced pressure from progressives to retire and allow President Biden to name a liberal-leaning successor to prevent the potential expansion of the court's conservative majority.

While Breyer and the White House have rebuffed those calling for the justice's retirement, he told the Times that the president who will name his successor "will inevitably be in the psychology” of his retirement decision, particularly because of something the late Justice Antonin Scalia told him.

  • "He said, 'I don’t want somebody appointed who will just reverse everything I’ve done for the last 25 years,'" Breyer explained.

Yes, but: Just because justices are appointed and approved by a partisan president and Senate doesn't mean they are obligated to upholding a certain political ideology.

  • Though former President Trump selected Justices Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett to solidify a conservative hold on the court, all three have angered conservatives through some of their rulings or by declining to hear certain cases.

What they're saying: “There are a lot of blurred things there, and there are many considerations” with retirement, Breyer said. “They form a whole. I’ll make a decision.”

  • “I don’t like making decisions about myself," he added.

Flashback: Breyer told Axios in March 2020 that he felt healthy and was not thinking about retirement at the time because "I enjoy what I'm doing."

The big picture: Breyer is coming out with a new book, “The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics,” next month, in which he discusses the nature of the court’s authority, the distinctions between law and politics and the factors that influence a justice's decision to retire, according to the Times.

Go deeper: Supreme Court blocks Biden's COVID eviction ban

Go deeper

Anti-abortion activists' Supreme Court dreams are coming true

Photo illustration: Annelise Capossela. Photos: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images

This is the moment the conservative legal movement has been building toward for decades: The solidly conservative Supreme Court is about to hear two major abortion cases within a month of each other.

Why it matters: All of this is likely to end with significant new restrictions on abortion and a clear path for Republican-led states to win the next big abortion cases, too — the culmination of a long and bitter fight for control of the judiciary.

The startup that wants to disrupt big internet providers

Maura Losch/Axios

A new startup backed by funding from AOL founder Steve Case and Laurene Powell Jobs wants to break up broadband monopolies across the country.

Why it matters: Internet access has been crucial during the pandemic, but it's not ubiquitous, and it can be both slow and unaffordable in swaths of the country.

1 hour ago - World

Top general: China's hypersonic missile test "very close" to a "Sputnik moment"

Gen. Mark Milley. Photo: Rod Lamkey-Pool/Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Wednesday that China's test of a hypersonic missile is "very concerning" and "very close" to the kind of "Sputnik moment" that triggered the Space Race during the Cold War.

Why it matters: The comments by America's top uniformed general underscore the depths of U.S. concerns about China's rapid military expansion and development of advanced weaponry.