More SCOTUS News

It looks like there will be a opening on the highest court soon…..seems one of the old farts on the court will be retiring…….

Justice Stephen Breyer is reportedly planning to retire from the Supreme Court at the end of its current term—and while no official announcement has been made, White House press secretary Jen Psaki fielded plenty of Breyer-related questions at Wednesday’s briefing. Psaki said that while she couldn’t discuss specifics, President Biden “certainly stands by” his promise to nominate a Black woman to the top court, the Guardian reports. Asked whether that woman could be Vice President Kamala Harris, Psaki said Biden “has every intention” of running for reelection with Harris on the ticket. More:

  • Biden “happy to talk about it later.” When he was asked about Breyer’s retirement at a White House event Wednesday, the president said he would be “happy to talk about it later.” An official announcement is expected Thursday. Sources tell Politico that Breyer told the president last week about his intention to retire.
  • Liberals are relieved. Breyer, 83, is the most senior of the three remaining liberal justices on the court, as well as its oldest member, and liberals are relieved that he apparently plans to step down while there is plenty of time to confirm a successor while Democrats have a Senate majority, the AP reports. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said Biden’s nominee “will receive a prompt hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be considered and confirmed by the full United States Senate with all deliberate speed.”

Praise for Breyer. Democrats praised Breyer for his contributions to the court since he was appointed by Bill Clinton in 1994—and for his decision to retire, the New York Times reports. Schumer said Breyer “embodies the best qualities and highest ideals of American justice,” while Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones said he was glad Democrats won’t risk “losing yet another seat on the high court to the radical, anti-democracy right.”

The timeline. Democrats will now have the summer to get a nominee through the confirmation process, allowing her to join the court before the next term starts in October, weeks before the midterm elections, per Politico.

Some see this as good news for the Dems….for some see the Right turn of the court as a problem for the nation.

When former President Donald Trump’s third Supreme Court nominee was confirmed in 2020, cementing the most conservative majority on the court since the 1930s, it wasn’t clear which conservative goals the justices would tackle first. Culture-war issues like abortion, gun rights, affirmative action and religious liberty were obvious possibilities, but issues with a more subtle impact like reining in the power of the executive branch and limiting unions had long been on conservative legal advocates’ wish list, too. So the question wasn’t whether the court would move to the right — it was more a question of where they’d start.

The term isn’t over yet, but it’s already looking like this year could be a bonanza for conservatives — and not just because of the high-profile cases that have snapped up most of the attention. I’ve written about how the justices could limit or overturn Roe v. Wade, the 1973 case that established a constitutional right to abortion, and expand gun rights for the first time in over a decade. But there are several other, less flashy cases that could also have sweeping effects on Americans’ lives.

I wish I was more optimistic….but so far the Right turn has been years in the making and I do not see much difference no matter who Biden nominates.

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