‘Older liberal justices?’ Seriously?

By John Kanelis / johnkanelis_92@hotmail.com

It’s rare that I would challenge the reporting of a major news outlet, but I cannot let this item go without offering a tart response.

The Business Insider reports that U.S. Rep. Mondaire Jones, a Democrat, wants Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire at the end of the court’s current term. He also favors expanding the ranks of justices from nine to 13, filling the four additional seats with liberal justices.

I oppose Rep. Jones’s notion of packing the court, even though he calls it a longstanding “court tradition.” Which it isn’t.

OK, then the Business Insider reports this: Many Democrats, still smarting over Donald Trump’s installation of three jurists to the Supreme Court, want to avoid the court becoming even more conservative due to older liberal justices declining to step down during Democratic presidencies, which Jones alluded to in his interview.

Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire (msn.com)

What? Three justices comprise the liberal wing of the court. Breyer is 82 years of age. He’s an “older” justice. The other two are Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan; Sotomayor was born in 1954, Kagan was born in 1960. Sotomayor is 68 years of age; Kagan is 61. I do not consider them to be “older” or “elderly.”

Justice Breyer will retire when he believes the time is right. President Biden is not about to nudge him toward the Back Forty. Neither should other Democrats in public life.

As for the Business Insider’s description of “older liberal justices,” the organization must be populated by Gen-Xers.

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