It didn’t take long after U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s shocking retirement announcement to spark conversations and commentary from liberal pundits and commentators regarding who President Joe Biden should choose as his replacement.
According to the Washington Examiner, a number of “liberal anti-monopolists,” as the Examiner described them, are angling for Biden to choose a justice who has a more modern take on antitrust law — a justice not willing to side with “big business” as Breyer oftentimes did, even though liberal judges tend to lean the other way on such issues.
Though Breyer was known for his specialty and expertise in antitrust and economic regulatory matters, he was often criticized by liberals for taking the side of big business in a number of cases over his nearly three-decade-long career on the high court.
That sentiment was quickly evidenced by Sandeep Vaheesan, legal director at the Open Markets Institute, a liberal anti-monopoly think tank, who said, “Stephen Breyer’s fingerprints are all over our corporate power problem. Glad he finally retired.”
“Breyer was historically in favor of monopolies and less antitrust enforcement because he believed in a highly theoretical model of economics and because he was an elitist,” said author Matt Stoller, an antitrust expert.
Stoller added: “We expect the justice Biden will pick to be less aggressive in promoting market power of dominant firms, and hopefully she’ll be more skeptical of monopolies than Breyer.”
He went on to remind readers that Breyer, in his work as a judge prior to becoming a SCOTUS justice, never once ruled in favor of a small company when big businesses were involved.
While liberals hope for someone who will take a vastly different approach to such an issue, they’ve already committed to severely crippling the option of finding the perfect person, as President Joe Biden has doubled down on his vow to only nominate a Black woman for the job, which obviously limits the number of otherwise qualified candidates who might fit such a request.
Biden’s first hurdle will be actually selecting a replacement, but the ultimate test will boil down to how much Republican support he’ll receive in the Senate to actually confirm whoever he selects.