The new rallying cry of the left has recast Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a cautionary tale.
“Justice Breyer’s Legacy-Defining Decision,” intoned the Atlantic ominously. “The longer Breyer remains, the more likely a Republican president choosing his successor becomes.”
“Opinion: I think retirement would be just perfect for Justice Breyer,” piled on The Washington Post, before softening the sentiment with a jaunty, “or anyone else!”
“Do you really wish to spend the remainder of your existence forced to sit in a room with a man named Neil with whom you disagree?” the Post wondered, “Dear Diary”-style. “You do not need to perish in the traces!”
“You know what’s fun?” promised WP opinion writer Alexandra Petri, before suggesting the 82-year old Breyer take up windsurfing or sit beside a lake. “Retirement!”
“It’s time for Justice Stephen Breyer to announce his intent to retire from the Supreme Court,” read the unequivocal statement, published in the New York Times last week by the progressive group Demand Justice.
“Breyer is a remarkable jurist, but with future control of a closely divided Senate uncertain, it is best for the country that President Biden have the opportunity to nominate a successor without delay,” the letter’s signers concluded.
The statement, signed by 18 prominent scholars in an attempt to publicly pressure Breyer into retirement, isn’t likely to sway the Supreme Court Justice, according to those who know him well.
According to some sources, the campaign to move the Supreme Court in a more progressive direction is likely to achieve the opposite result, keeping Breyer on the court even if he’d rather consider retirement.
It isn’t hard to understand why Breyer might resent such a public pressure campaign being waged against him by members of his own party.
Three days after Justice Breyer gave a rather tetchy speech at Harvard in April, liberal groups hired a billboard truck to drive around the Supreme Court with a giant sign reading: “Breyer, Retire.”