Michael West’s rueful Comment of the Day relating Justice Breyer’s eagerly awaited (by Democrats) retirement to the deterioration of the balance of powers intended by the Founders presents a useful perspective. My only cavil is his introduction.
I think it is unfair to assume that Breyer retired to ensure that a Democrat President would choose his successor. Maybe he did, but nothing Breyer has said in his years as a Justice would be consistent with that thesis. Breyer, unlike Ruth Bader Ginsberg, has never been overtly political, and has objected to accusations that his colleagues on the Court were driven by partisan agendas. If we take him at his word, it would be extremely out of character to quit so Joe Biden could apppoint a replacement based on an ideological check list filtered through the non-merit restrictions of race and gender. Of course, all of this is really just a bad sign for the dignity of SCOTUS and the strength of the divided government. “The only ethical reason for any Justice to retire is because it’s time to retire,” Michael begins. Well, at 83, it’s always past time to retire. I think Justice Breyer has earned the benefit of the doubt.
Now here’s Michale West’s Comment of the Day on the post, “Observations On Justice Breyer’s Retirement”:
The only ethical reason for any Justice to retire is because it’s time to retire. But we all know Breyer is making a strategic retirement to permit a Democrat president to appoint and a Democrat Senate to approve a Progressive to the bench. This is a clear indication of the intentional politicization of the Court – which is was never meant to be.
This is all because of the ever increasing ability of Executive Branch and now the Judicial Branch to basically become alternative legislatures to Congress which has largely surrendered most of it’s power since the technocratic growth of the bureaucracy from FDR’s time. Continue reading