Psaki: Biden won’t pressure Breyer to retire

President Joe Biden will not pressure Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday, breaking with liberal activists hoping to ensure Biden and the Democrats’ Senate majority get the opportunity to install Breyer’s replacement.

“He believes that’s a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it’s time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court,” Psaki said.

Psaki’s words come as activists push Breyer, who at 82 is the oldest Supreme Court justice by a decade, to resign and allow Biden to nominate a new justice to replace him. Biden signed an executive order Friday establishing a commission to look at the Supreme Court and other federal court reforms after former President Donald Trump reshaped the federal judiciary, securing confirmations for three Supreme Court justices and scores of other federal judges to lifetime appointments during his four years in office.

Advocates have launched a petition calling on Breyer, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, to step down, deploying a mobile billboard truck on Capitol Hill beginning Friday. They’ve also pointed to Biden’s pledge to nominate the first-ever Black woman to the nation’s highest court.

Some advocates have called for expanding the Supreme Court, though Biden has said he’s “not a fan” of “court packing.” Breyer said in a speech at Harvard Law School Tuesday that adding justices to the court could weaken trust in the institution.

“It is wrong to think of the Court as another political institution,” he said.

Though she indicated Biden wouldn’t be pressuring Breyer to step down, Psaki declined to tell activists to back away from their efforts to nudge Breyer into retirement.

“I think I can just speak to what the president’s view of the Supreme Court justice’s ability to make his own decision,” Psaki said.

Psaki also said Friday that she wasn’t aware of Biden having any conversations with justices since his inauguration earlier this year.

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President Joe Biden will not pressure Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said Friday, breaking with liberal activists hoping to ensure Biden and the Democrats’ Senate majority get the opportunity to install Breyer’s replacement.

“He believes that’s a decision Justice Breyer will make when he decides it’s time to no longer serve on the Supreme Court,” Psaki said.

Psaki’s words come as activists push Breyer, who at 82 is the oldest Supreme Court justice by a decade, to resign and allow Biden to nominate a new justice to replace him. Biden signed an executive order Friday establishing a commission to look at the Supreme Court and other federal court reforms after former President Donald Trump reshaped the federal judiciary, securing confirmations for three Supreme Court justices and scores of other federal judges to lifetime appointments during his four years in office.

Advocates have launched a petition calling on Breyer, an appointee of former President Bill Clinton, to step down, deploying a mobile billboard truck on Capitol Hill beginning Friday. They’ve also pointed to Biden’s pledge to nominate the first-ever Black woman to the nation’s highest court.

Some advocates have called for expanding the Supreme Court, though Biden has said he’s “not a fan” of “court packing.” Breyer said in a speech at Harvard Law School Tuesday that adding justices to the court could weaken trust in the institution.

“It is wrong to think of the Court as another political institution,” he said.

Though she indicated Biden wouldn’t be pressuring Breyer to step down, Psaki declined to tell activists to back away from their efforts to nudge Breyer into retirement.

“I think I can just speak to what the president’s view of the Supreme Court justice’s ability to make his own decision,” Psaki said.

Psaki also said Friday that she wasn’t aware of Biden having any conversations with justices since his inauguration earlier this year.

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