Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer said in a Friday interview that he is weighing “many considerations” when deciding if and when to willingly retire from the nation’s high court.
According to the Daily Caller, one of just three remaining liberal judges said he has yet to decide if he will retire, despite pressure from his own party to do so.
“There are a lot of blurred things here, and there are many considerations,” Breyer told The New York Times. “They form a whole. I’ll make a decision.”
The 83-year-old justice is the oldest on the court and appears to be concerning fellow progressives that if he passes away while still on the bench his replacement could be less than advantageous for their cause.
The octogenarian recalled a statement from the late conservative justice, Antonin Scalia, when demonstrating part of his inner conflict about resignation:
“[Scalia] said, ‘I don’t want somebody appointed who will just reverse everything I’ve done for the last 25 years,’” Breyer recalled.
Breyer, like his recently passed colleague the late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, was nominated by President Bill Clinton. But unlike Ginsberg and her fast friend Scalia, Breyer has said he didn’t think he would stay on the bench until his death:
“I don’t think I’m going to stay there till I die – I hope not,” Breyer said. However, he also expressed concern over liberals’ plan to expand the court “to overcome what is now a 6-to-3 conservative majority.”
The justice warned that they should “think twice, at least” before making such a risky move citing the possibility of undercutting “public faith in the court” and imperiling “the rule of law.”
“If A can do it, B can do it. And what are you going to have when you have A and B doing it?” Breyer asked. “Nobody really knows, but there’s a risk, and how big a risk do you want to take?”