Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) on Sunday suggested that if Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer chooses to retire, he should do so “sooner rather than later.”
Appearing on CNN, Klobuchar refused to speculate on Breyer’s retirement, but argued that the Supreme Court justice should be concerned about the balance of the court in which there is a 6-3 conservative majority.
“He has to be concerned about the makeup. And you have to be concerned about how you get a justice on the court with all of the manipulation that Mitch McConnell has engaged in,” Klobuchar said, appearing to jab at the Senate minority leader for bluntly laying out that it’s “highly unlikely” that he will allow President Biden to fill a Supreme Court vacancy.
Klobuchar then added that if a Breyer retirement is in the cards, the Supreme Court justice should deal it out “sooner, rather than later.”
“He makes his own decision about if he’s going to retire, but … if he’s going to retire, it should be sooner, rather than later, if you are concerned about the court, because what happens in the U.S. Senate matters,” Klobuchar said.
Klobuchar’s remarks come a week after the senior-most liberal on the Supreme Court told CNN that he has not made a decision regarding his retirement plans.
Asked whether he decided when to step down, Breyer simply replied “no.” The Supreme Court justice indicated that he would take two factors into account in mulling his own retirement.
“Primarily, of course, health,” Breyer told CNN. “Second, the court.”
Breyer, 82, has served 27 years on the high court thus far. Democrats have expressed concerns over whether Breyer will put off his retirement just long enough for Republicans to take back control of the Senate — which, with a 50-50 split, gives Democrats zero margin of error in passing their legislative agenda.
Late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing last year handed then-President Trump the opportunity to cement the current 6-3 conservative majority by nominating Amy Coney Barrett for the high court days before the November presidential election.
Watch Klobuchar’s remarks below:
Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar refuses to speculate on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer's retirement, but says, "If he's going to retire, it should be sooner rather than later" #CNNSOTU https://t.co/eVcA0pf4Fq pic.twitter.com/5lmQ6ziJul
— CNN Politics (@CNNPolitics) July 18, 2021