The Corner

Why Democrats Want Justice Breyer to Retire as Soon as Possible

From left: Supreme Court Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Stephen Breyer and Associate Justice Elena Kagan listen during President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address, January 30, 2018. (Win McNamee/Reuters Pool)

Democrats really want Justice Stephen Breyer to retire from the Supreme Court, but Breyer is giving them no reason to feel optimistic that President Biden will have the opportunity to appoint his replacement anytime soon.

Perhaps this reflects a worry that the current razor-thin Democratic Senate majority is not built to last, and the Biden administration may face the prospect of getting their choice confirmed by a GOP-controlled Senate sooner rather than later.

First, if something happens to 81-year-old Patrick Leahy (who was hospitalized in January) or Bernie Sanders (who had a heart attack in 2019), and Vermont governor Phil Scott appoints

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