Liberals Order Supreme Court Justice To Resign

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( – Several commentators and legal scholars are advocating for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to consider retiring, allowing President Biden the opportunity to nominate a younger justice while the Senate remains under Democratic control. Journalist Josh Barro introduced this notion in January, expressing surprise that Sotomayor had not yet planned her retirement, given her concerns about the court’s political balance. In his newsletter, Barro emphasized the strategic advantage of her early retirement for securing a liberal future on the court.

Former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan also voiced this sentiment in a Guardian column, urging Democrats to proactively seek Sotomayor’s retirement to avoid repeating the situation with Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose 2020 death allowed President Trump to appoint a conservative justice. Hasan, speaking with CNN’s Jake Tapper, cited his anxiety over past court appointments and the strategic court-packing by Republicans, urging Democrats to take preemptive action.

The debate intensified following former Justice Stephen Breyer’s retirement in 2022, with Sotomayor approaching 70 and being the oldest among the Democrat-appointed justices. While Democratic Senator Richard Blumenthal has not explicitly called for Sotomayor’s retirement, he stressed the importance of learning from past experiences, subtly hinting at the strategic timing of court retirements.

University of Colorado law professor Paul Campos and Supreme Court historian Lucas Powe Jr. have publicly advocated for Sotomayor’s retirement to ensure a younger liberal justice can be appointed, citing the precariousness of future Senate control.

However, the suggestion has faced criticism, notably from “The View” co-hosts, with Sunny Hostin questioning the focus on Sotomayor’s retirement given the ages of conservative justices like Clarence Thomas and Samuel Alito, and the health challenges she manages.

Barro responded to these criticisms, particularly addressing Whoopi Goldberg’s comments, underscoring the strategic importance of timing in judicial retirements to ensure long-term ideological balance on the Supreme Court.

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