Paul Campos, University of Colorado Boulder law professor, called on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire immediately to allow a leftist replacement while a Democrat serves as president.
The New York Times published his op-ed on Monday. Campos compared the situation with the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, whose death led to Amy Coney Barrett becoming joining the court in 2020.
“What are the odds that something like this — a senator’s death, disabling health crisis or departure from office for other reasons — will happen sometime in this Congress’s remaining 22 months?” Campos asked. “Alarmingly for Democrats, if history is any guide, the odds are quite high. Since the end of World War II, 27 of the 38 Congresses have featured a change in the party composition of the Senate during a session.”
Campos expressed further concern regarding Republicans regaining control of the Senate in 2022. “The odds that Democrats will lose control of the Senate in the next 22 months are probably close to a coin flip.”
The law professor argued Breyer’s retirement in 2021 would allow an opportunity for Biden and a Democrat-led Senate sufficient time to nominate a successor. Allowing the window of opportunity to pass would be “unacceptable.”
The 82-year-old Breyer was nominated by Democrat President Bill Clinton in 1994. He serves as the last Clinton nominee to remain in the court.
His tenure has included several notable rulings. In a 2020 case, he sided to strike down Louisiana’s abortion law requiring any doctor who performed abortions to have admitting privileges at a hospital within 30 miles.
In 2020, Breyer also opposed construction of the Trump border wall. The justice dissented in the 5-4 decision.
Breyer has not yet responded to the op-ed. However, the strategy of the left is clear: guard the left’s power in the court, no matter what it takes.