Democrats have increasingly called for Breyer to step down after the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s spot on the bench was filled by a Trump appointee. Some lawmakers on the left have even touted the idea of expanding the number of justices as they fear the Court tilting further to the right.
However, Breyer said last week that he has not decided when to retire, despite the fact he will turn 83 in August.
“I’m not going to speculate on his retirement,” Klobuchar, D-MN, told CNN’s “State of the Union.” She pointed to a recent CNN interview with Breyer in which he said he would only step down over concerns related to his health or to the court.
“When you look at the court, he has to be concerned about the makeup and you have be concerned about how you get a justice on the court with all the manipulation that Mitch McConnell has engaged in,” she explained. “So that would lead me to say, sooner rather than later, he makes his decision about if he’s going to retire.”
“But if he’s going to retire, it should be sooner rather than later.”
Justices serve lifetime appointments, but some justices have opted for retirement. Justice Anthony Kennedy stepped down in 2018, allowing then-President Trump to choose Justice Brett Kavanaugh as his replacement.
If Republicans retake control of the Senate in 2022, it puts Breyer’s seat at risk as the Republicans have shown a willingness to roadblock appointments.
McConnell refused in 2016 to put President Obama’s pick, Merrick Garland, before the Senate in the final year of Obama’s presidency.