In the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to let stand a Texas law banning abortion past six weeks’ gestation, Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has gone on record to suggest that the ruling itself if proof positive that it is time for Justice Stephen Breyer to retire “sooner rather than later,” as the Washington Times reports.
Just last week, in a 5-4 vote, the high court permitted the Texas statute to take effect, leading to panicked outcries from those on the left who fear for the survival of Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that effectively established the notion of a constitutional right to abortion.
In light of the court’s current makeup, in which conservatives hold a 6-3 majority, Klobuchar – among countless others on her side of the aisle – believe that now is the time for the aging Breyer to step down, paving the way for President Joe Biden to nominate a liberal replacement and begin the confirmation process while Democrats are in control of both chambers of Congress, as The Hill notes.
During an appearance on CNN’s State of the Union, Klobuchar articulated her assessment of the situation, saying, “I stick to my words. I believe, if [Breyer] is seriously considering retirement – and he has said he would do it based on not only his own health, but also the future of the court – if this decision doesn’t cry out for that, I don’t know what does.”
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar renews her call for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire “sooner rather than later,” telling @DanaBashCNN that the court’s decision allowing Texas’ restrictive anti-abortion law to stand adds urgency. pic.twitter.com/dnmHCCEphi
— State of the Union (@CNNSotu) September 5, 2021
The senator injected a dose of realism into the discussion, however, adding, “That’s not going to change the results [in key cases] necessarily, but at least it doesn’t put it at 7-2.”
Pressure on Breyer from progressive groups has continued to mount in recent months, with many calling for him to step down in order to avoid a repeat of what occurred when the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg declined to retire during the administration of former President Barack Obama, another time when Democrats controlled the legislature and could have seated an ideologically similar successor.
Klobuchar’s sentiments were similarly expressed by Judicary Committee member Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) earlier this year, when he declared that while he would “never presume to tell a Supreme Court justice to retire,” he knew that Breyer is “very familiar with the potential risks of a Republican president appointing his successor,” adding that the justice surely “has in mind the best interests of the country and will make the right decision.”
Breyer, for his part, has kept his career plans close to the vest so far, but has warned against partisan proposals and pressures to impact the composition of the court, wisely opining that “it is wrong to think of the Court as another political institution…and it is doubly wrong to think of its members as junior league politicians.”