SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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Justice Stephen Breyer, 83, informed the president last week of his intention to retire and indicated he would follow up with an official letter, the person briefed on the justice’s plans said.
The Supreme Court’s oldest member — Justice Stephen Breyer — plans to retire, a person familiar with the process said Wednesday, giving President Joe Biden his first, highly coveted opportunity to nominate a member of the nation’s top court.

Breyer, 83, informed the president last week of his intention to retire and indicated he would follow up with an official letter, the person briefed on the justice’s plans said.

Breyer’s move comes after more than a year of pressure from liberal legal activists who urged the appointee of President Bill Clinton to step aside to give Biden a chance to name a jurist who could shape the country’s legal landscape for decades. Biden has pledged to nominate a Black woman to the Supreme Court.

While Breyer’s resignation is welcome news for many Democrats and left-leaning attorneys, it is unlikely to have a dramatic impact on the court’s decidedly conservative bent. Since late 2020, the high court’s bench has been split, 6-3, with Republican appointees holding the clear majority.

Until Wednesday, Breyer seemed adamant about not caving to demands that he step off the court. He also published a book that appeared to be a riposte to what he viewed as efforts to politicize the court by implementing reforms that would increase the number of justices or do away with the current lifetime tenure for justices.

“I didn’t retire because I had decided on balance I wouldn’t retire,” Breyer said in a September 2021 interview on “Fox News Sunday.”

Breyer did say in that interview and others that were part of a book tour last year that he did not “intend to die on the court.” But he consistently declined to discuss the timing of his possible departure and often seemed to bristle at the suggestion that his retirement plans might be shaped by which party controlled the White House or the Senate majority.
https://www.politico.com/news/2022/01/2 ... t-00002393
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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The filibuster no long applies to SCOTUS nominations. If Biden works with the Senate and gets a good nominee that all 50 Democrats can support, Harris can use her tie breaking vote to put someone on the SCOTUS bench. We need geographic diversity on SCOTUS.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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But the nominee will need to get past Manchin and Sinema the two blockhead in the Democratic caucus of the senate. I can see MoscowMitch trying to drag the confirmation out till after the election in November where there might be a chance for the Repugs to regain control of the Senate by a majority.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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TrueTexan wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:27 pm But the nominee will need to get past Manchin and Sinema the two blockhead in the Democratic caucus of the senate. I can see MoscowMitch trying to drag the confirmation out till after the election in November where there might be a chance for the Repugs to regain control of the Senate by a majority.
Oh he'll definitely try and may even succeed. That fucker knows no limits.

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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It's a shame she is too old to be nominated for the job, but I would love to see Anita Hill nominated and sitting next to Clarence Thomas. Clarence will be the next to go especially after all the crap that has been expose about his wife playing politics with the rightwing groups.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.-Huxley
"We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both." ~ Louis Brandeis,

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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featureless wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:34 pm Oh he'll definitely try and may even succeed. That fucker knows no limits.
The SOB is probably in the top 3 most effective Senate Majority Leaders in US history. He is masterful at his job. It just sucks he's on their side.

While the guy straight creeps me out, I can appreciate his political acumen and effectiveness.
“I think there’s a right-wing conspiracy to promote the idea of a left-wing conspiracy”

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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Yes, Breyer's retirement doesn't change the court, it will still be 6-3. Biden promised during the 2020 campaign that if he got a SCOTUS vacancy, he would appoint a black woman. He needed votes in 2020 and locked himself in and it would be impossible for him to change, especially in an election year. Reports are that Breyer will stay until the end of term, which is the end of June, so Biden has plenty of time.

One station said Breyer will make an announcement tomorrow. I just got in and listening to a few stations, there is a black female judge on the DC Circuit Court and one on the CA Supreme Court, that are probably on Biden's list, more Harvard law and Yale law graduates. Even had a conservative station I listened to briefly, the consensus was since it doesn't change the balance of the court, why fight it. They felt if Republicans fought it they'd be painted as racists. Doesn't look like they're gearing for a fight.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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President Joe Biden is eyeing at least three judges for an expected vacancy on the Supreme Court as he prepares to quickly deliver on his campaign pledge to nominate the first Black woman to the nation’s highest court, according to aides and allies.

With Justice Stephen Breyer planning to retire, early discussions about a successor are focusing on U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, U.S. District Judge J. Michelle Childs and California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, according to four people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss White House deliberations. Jackson and Krueger have long been seen as possible nominees.

Since Biden took office in January 2021, he has focused on nominating a diverse group of judges to the federal bench, installing five Black women on federal appeals courts, with three more nominations pending before the Senate. Other possible candidates for the high court could come from among that group, Biden aides and allies said, especially since almost all of the recent Supreme Court nominees have been federal appeals judges.

“He has a strong pool to select a candidate from, in addition to other sources. This is an historic opportunity to appoint someone with a strong record on civil and human rights,” said Derrick Johnson, the NAACP’s president.

By the end of his first term, Biden had won confirmation of 40 judges, the most since President Ronald Reagan. Of those, 80% are women and 53% are people of color, according to the White House.

Jackson, 51, was nominated by President Barack Obama to be a district court judge. Biden elevated her to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Early in her career, she was also a law clerk for Breyer.

Childs, a federal judge in South Carolina, has been nominated but not yet confirmed to serve on the same circuit court. Her name has surfaced partly because is a favorite among some high-profile lawmakers, including Rep. James Clyburn, D-S.C.

Kruger, a graduate of Harvard and Yale’s law school, was previously a Supreme Court clerk and has argued a dozen cases before the justices as a lawyer for the federal government.

Breyer, 83, will retire at the end of the summer, according to two sources who confirmed the news to The Associated Press on Wednesday. They spoke on condition of anonymity so as not to preempt Breyer’s formal announcement.

But the Senate can confirm a successor before there is a formal vacancy, so the White House was getting to work and it was expected to take at least a few weeks before a nomination was formalized.

Biden said Wednesday he wasn’t going to get ahead of Breyer’s announcement.

“Every justice should have an opportunity to decide what he or she is going to do and announce it on their own,” Biden said. “Let him make whatever statement he’s going to make and I’ll be happy to talk about it later.”

When Biden was running for the White House, he said that if he had the chance to nominate someone to the court, he would make history by choosing a Black woman. And he’s reiterated that pledge since.

“As president, I’d be honored, honored to appoint the first African American woman. Because it should look like the country. It’s long past time,” Biden said in February 2020 shortly before South Carolina’s presidential primary.

Adding a Black woman to the court would mean a series of firsts — four female justices and two Black justices serving at the same time on the nine-member court. Justice Clarence Thomas is the court’s only Black justice and just the second ever, after Thurgood Marshall.

And Biden would have the chance to show Black voters increasingly frustrated with a president they helped to elect that he is serious about their concerns, particularly after he has been unable to push through voting rights legislation.

At the same time, Breyer’s replacement by another liberal justice would not change the ideological makeup of the court. Conservatives outnumber liberals by 6-3, and Donald Trump’s three nominees made an already conservative court even more conservative.

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., said Biden’s nominee “will receive a prompt hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee and will be considered and confirmed by the full United States Senate with all deliberate speed.”

But Republicans in particular remain upset about Justice Brett Kavanaugh’s contentious 2018 hearing. Still, Democrats have the 50 votes plus a tiebreaker in Vice President Kamala Harris that they need to confirm a nominee.

Republicans who changed the Senate rules during the Trump-era to allow simple majority confirmation of Supreme Court nominees appeared resigned to the outcome. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, an influential Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee said in a statement: “If all Democrats hang together — which I expect they will — they have the power to replace Justice Breyer in 2022 without one Republican vote in support.”

Nonetheless, Democrats have also been unable to get all its members on board for Biden’s social and environmental spending agenda or to move forward with a voting rights bill.

As a senator, Biden served as chairman of the Judiciary Committee, overseeing six Supreme Court confirmation hearings from 1987 to 1995, including Breyer’s.

And one person who will be central to Biden’s process is chief of staff Ron Klain, a former Supreme Court law clerk and chief counsel to that committee.

Two other Black women whom Biden appointed to federal appeals courts are also seen as contenders: Holly Thomas, a longtime civil rights lawyer he named to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit and Candace Jackson-Akiwumi, a former public defender he named to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit.

Biden could also choose someone from outside the judiciary, though that seems less likely. One contender would be the head of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Sherrilyn Ifill, 59. She has headed the fund since 2013 and has announced she is stepping down in the spring.

The Supreme Court has had three women on it for more than a decade, since 2010, when Obama named Justice Elena Kagan to the court to replace the retiring John Paul Stevens. Kagan joined Obama’s other nominee, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, the court’s first Latina justice, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. When Ginsburg died in September 2020, Trump announced his choice of Amy Coney Barrett eight days later.
https://apnews.com/article/biden-suprem ... cd82f7f97e
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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FrontSight wrote: Wed Jan 26, 2022 1:02 pm This is goin to be a battle. We know McConnell will block a nomination. Time to play hardball.
McConnell is no problem. It's Sinema and Manchin, who, selfish and short-sighted, may seek revenge for how they are being attacked.
But if they see it as a way to redeem themselves with their fellow Democrats, McConnell won't be able to stop the confirmation.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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Reuters article on Leondra Kruger, who sits on the CA Supreme Court.
Before she turned to law and became one of the youngest justices ever appointed to the California Supreme Court, Leondra Kruger had journalism in her blood.

Kruger, considered a potential U.S. Supreme Court nominee for President Joe Biden to replace the retiring Justice Stephen Breyer, was editor-in-chief of her high school's newspaper. Later, at Harvard University, she wrote for the daily student paper, the Crimson. While attending Yale Law School, she became editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal.

The reputation she gained as a young journalist for being thoughtful and careful has followed her to the judiciary, where the 45-year-old jurist has become known for her incremental approach to deciding cases.

Her moderate approach might help her win confirmation in a U.S. Senate evenly split between Democrats and Republicans if Biden chooses her to replace Breyer. Kruger would make history as the first Black woman to serve on the top U.S. judicial body.

"I see her as cautious in her use of judicial power," said David Ettinger, a Los Angeles attorney who is an expert on the California Supreme Court. "I think she's concerned about digging into the details of legal issues, rather than letting ideological predilections determine the outcome of the case."

Biden has promised to appoint a Black woman to the Supreme Court. It has had only two Black justices, both men: Clarence Thomas, appointed in 1991 and still serving, and Thurgood Marshall, who retired in 1991 and died in 1993. If confirmed, Kruger also would become the sixth woman ever to serve on the Supreme Court.

Kruger previously worked at the U.S. Justice Department under presidents of both parties, arguing 12 cases before the Supreme Court.

Democratic former California Governor Jerry Brown named Kruger to the top court in the most populous U.S. state in 2014 when she was age 38. Kruger's former colleagues, both Democrat and Republican, praised the move. Paul Clement, who served as U.S. solicitor general under Republican former President George W. Bush, said at the time, "She combines an understated and easygoing manner with a keen legal mind and unquestioned integrity."

Observers of the liberal-leaning, seven-member California high court said, while its rulings are largely unanimous, Kruger probably straddles its ideological middle - moderately liberal on civil cases, more conservative on criminal matters.

During seven years on the California Supreme Court, Kruger has participated in a number of other important cases.

In 2018, Kruger authored a 4-3 ruling that upheld a law requiring people arrested for suspected felonies to provide DNA specimens, even before charges are filed. The dissenting justices warned of a "biological dragnet" that was not "carefully calibrated to identify felony offenders."

Kruger's ruling was narrow. Evoking the principle of "judicial restraint," she emphasized the seriousness of the crime at issue in that specific case - arson - and left open the possibility of other challenges in different circumstances.

In 2019, Kruger joined a unanimous ruling that struck down a Democratic-backed state law targeting Republican former President Donald Trump that sought to prevent him from appearing as a candidate on California's presidential primary ballot because he did not disclose his personal income tax returns.

"My approach reflects the fact that we operate in a system of precedent," Kruger told the Los Angeles Times in 2018. "I aim to perform my job in a way that enhances the predictability and stability of the law and public confidence and trust in the work of the courts."

In 2019, Kruger wrote a unanimous ruling that upheld a white supremacist's convictions, including for murder, but overturned the death sentence because the prosecution had invited the jury to weigh the man's racist beliefs in determining whether to impose the death penalty.

In the case of Scott Peterson, who was convicted of murdering his wife Laci and unborn son during a 2004 trial that drew outsized media coverage, Kruger in 2020 wrote a unanimous ruling affirming his conviction but overturning his death penalty due to errors in jury selection.

Growing up in the Los Angeles area, Kruger attended Polytechnic, a private high school in Pasadena. A former schoolmate who edited her work on the school newspaper called Kruger "cool and calm" in an article published in 2020.

She "could be funny and gossipy with friends, but she chose her words with great care, which made you listen more closely," wrote Joe Mathews in Zocalo Public Square, a Los Angeles-based publication.

Kruger's mother, who moved to the United States from Jamaica, and father, the son of Eastern European Jewish immigrants, were both pediatricians. She is married to Brian Hauck, also a lawyer in San Francisco. The couple has two young children.
https://www.reuters.com/world/us/potent ... 022-01-26/
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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Everything is hyperpartisan now and it's often easy to predict appellate decisions based on the political affiliation of the president or governor who appointed the judges. There have always been conservative, moderate and liberal judges, but the two parties also had conservative, moderate and liberal wings which don't really exist anymore. There is black letter law and then there are gray areas where personal opinions enter. It is a shame that the courts are just another government branch packed with political hacks.

Some SCOTUS justices have changed over the years, Earl Warren was the Republican governor of CA before Eisenhower appointed him CJ, he led what Republicans now call the Activist Warren Court. Lewis Powell who wrote Roe v Wade was a Republican appointed by Nixon. John Paul Stevens was appointed by Ford, Souter by Bush I and they moved to the left. Sometimes justices went the other direction, Stephen Field appointed by Lincoln was one of those.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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Republicans have been TOTALLY about power and property. Ron Johnson, once one of the more sane Republicans, just came out with this 18th and 19th century philosophy: "I've never really felt it was society's responsibility to take care of other people's children" he told TV station WKBT on Tuesday.
I guess this follows Newt Gingrich's pushing to bring back child labor.
It seems the ONLY place "society" has a "responsibility" to a child in Johnson's view is to make sure no woman can have an abortion, no matter the reason, no matter the risk to her life. But God help her if she drinks or takes drugs during pregnancy as a miscarriage is now, in reactionary states, is "manslaughter".

I fucking HATE Republicans! They either are racist fascists, or total cowards terrified of being "primaried" and the "wrath of Trump". And if they do stand up, they accept that their political life is OVER!
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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Yet the republicans also believe corporations are people and it’s society’s responsibility to support them. I don’t believe the two DINOS will vote for any dem pick unless it’s a candidate the republicans want. Expecting the court to move further right, and further corporatist.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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Don’t expect a second amendment supporting justice pick. I don’t expect the republicans are interested in an individual’s right either. The corporatists don’t want an armed populace. Clue one, the current court has dumped every second amendment case brought to them do far. No matter how right the court goes, they won’t be looking to support an individual’s right to defense unless that individual is a corporation.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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If it were possible for the minority party to delay a Supreme Court nomination for longer than a bathroom break, Amy Coney Barrett would not sit on the Court today.

Nope, McConnell is going to sit this one out. He got his 6-3 majority, and Breyer doesn't change the balance. I'd even wager enough of the GOP comes alongboard to approve a replacement that Sinema and Manchin will be pointless.

It's going to be a Black woman, probably Ketanji Brown Jackson. Twist option, Kamala Harris. She's been vetted, and it's probably the only realistic step up for her short of an unexpected vacancy.

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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Any bets that the two DINOS won’t make any demands...any bets the candidate won’t be a corporatists...any bets that it won’t be anti individual’s right to defense. I don’t believe you’ll get actual republican votes unless you count the two DINOS. It wouldn’t look good for the base, but I bet they will like the candidate, a moderate right wing candidate. Who will properly lament roe going down the tubes.
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"Resistance is futile. You will be assimilated!" Loquacious of many. Texas Chapter Chief Cat Herder.

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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wings wrote: Thu Jan 27, 2022 8:06 am If it were possible for the minority party to delay a Supreme Court nomination for longer than a bathroom break, Amy Coney Barrett would not sit on the Court today.

Nope, McConnell is going to sit this one out. He got his 6-3 majority, and Breyer doesn't change the balance. I'd even wager enough of the GOP comes alongboard to approve a replacement that Sinema and Manchin will be pointless.

It's going to be a Black woman, probably Ketanji Brown Jackson. Twist option, Kamala Harris. She's been vetted, and it's probably the only realistic step up for her short of an unexpected vacancy.
Nope. Not going to happen. Because THEN both Houses will tie up Biden's pick for VP for months on end. Appointing a Vice-President is the ONLY appointment where the Constitution requires BOTH Houses to confirm. And since the Senate is 50-50 it would require the VP to cast the deciding vote--and there won't be a VP any longer--that would be McConnell's DREAM scenario--NOTHING gets done in the Senate, not even appointments, no change to the filibuster, Nada, gornischt, rien, NOTHING!!!!

So much for "respecting the Senate" by MoscowMitch. Biden's definitely NOT that stupid. I suspect if he wasn't committed to appointing a Black woman, he'd name Barack Obama (although appointing Michelle Obama would be awesome!) But Jackson is really the pick he should make--she's only 51 and could be on the Court for 35 years.
"The upper class: keeps all of the money, pays none of the taxes. The middle class: pays all of the taxes, does all of the work. The poor are there...just to scare the shit out of the middle class."--George Carlin

Re: SCOTUS Justice Stephen Breyer retires.

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I don't see Harris wanting it, she has her eyes on the the White House and becoming the second black president. Even if she never gets there, that's her goal now. Biden could nominate a VP replacement, but as YT said that opens another can of worms. I have no doubt Biden's WH counsel has a list of black female lawyers that they've already researched and there is plenty of time to do FBI background checks. The new justice won't be seated until next October for the 2022-2023 term, though the person could be sworn in earlier.

Since it won't change the balance on the court, I think the only controversy will be who Biden selects. Judges who have written a lot of decisions especially controversial ones or lawyers with controversial journal articles or cases, will all be critiqued very closely. Think of Robert Bork and others whose writings doomed them. Biden was chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee so he's presided over SCOTUS confirmations like that of Clarence Thomas.
"Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts." - Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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