Bench Memos

Law & the Courts

Justice Breyer Comes Out against Court-Packing — Left-Wing Dark-Money Groups Are Very Upset!

Associate Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer arrives at the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington, D.C., April 10, 2017. (Joshua Roberts/Reuters)

Justice Stephen Breyer asserted his opposition to packing the Supreme Court in remarks he made yesterday at Harvard Law School. The Court’s authority, he said, relies on “a trust that the court is guided by legal principle, not politics.” So “[s]tructural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only feed that perception, further eroding that trust.”

Breyer made clear what he thought was at stake: “If the public sees judges as ‘politicians in robes,’ its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power, including its power to act as a ‘check’ on other branches.”

Liberal dark-money groups — especially those in the vast Arabella Advisors network — are now quite mad at Breyer. They thought they paid for court-packing when they elected Joe Biden and the Senate Democrats, but apparently Breyer is not on board. (Of course, neither was his late colleague, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who had also voiced her opposition to court-packing, but never mind that.)

Here is a sampling of their reactions to Breyer:

Fix the Court (funded by Arabella’s New Venture Fund):

Take Back the Court (part of the Left’s “Unrig the Courts” coalition)

And of course, noted court-packing pusher, Brian Fallon of Demand Justice (funded by Arabella’s Sixteen Thirty Fund)

To be sure, Breyer’s remarks won’t help his case with these same groups who have been vigorously lobbying for his retirement. Fix the Courts has even set up a webpage wholly devoted to pressuring Breyer to retire.


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