Democratic Rep. Mondaire Jones calls on Breyer to retire

Rep. Mondaire Jones (D-N.Y.) called on Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire while President Biden is still in office.

Jones made the comment in an interview with Cheddar News on Friday. It comes as progressives push Breyer to retire so that Biden can appoint a younger justice to the high court.

“There’s no question that Justice Breyer, for whom I have great respect, should retire at the end of this term. My goodness, have we not learned our lesson?” Jones said.

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died last year, which allowed former President Trump to put a third conservative justice on the court. 

The court now has a 6-3 conservative majority.

Jones said he was “excited about the opportunity for this president, President Biden, to appoint and then for the Senate to confirm jurists for the Supreme Court who are not hostile to our democracy.” 

“Who will adjudicate cases that will protect and preserve voting rights and that will respect the will of Congress, frankly,” he said.

Breyer, 82, was appointed to the high court in 1994 by former President Bill Clinton. Progressive group Demand Justice launched a campaign earlier this month to pressure Breyer to step down to make way for the first Black woman to serve on the high court.

But White House press secretary Jen Psaki told reporters earlier this month that Biden will let Breyer decide when he retires.

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

The pressure also comes as Democrats discuss expanding the Supreme Court.

Breyer warned during a speech at Harvard Law School that expanding the court would make it appear more political and damage the court’s influence. Jones hit back at Breyer for weighing in on the issue as a justice.

“I didn’t understand why he was weighing in on the prerogative of the legislature,” Jones said during a discussion at the American Constitution Society, according to Bloomberg Law. “I wish that he would just stop talking about that and stick to actually adjudicating cases.”

Jones, along with Rep. Jerry Nadler (D-N.Y.), Rep. Hank Johnson (D-Ga.) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-Mass.), introduced legislation on Thursday that would expand the Supreme Court from nine to 13 justices. 

However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said that she had no plans to bring the legislation to the floor. She instead endorsed the commission President Biden established via executive order to study the the issue.

Republicans have blasted the bill, signaling they will seek to make it an issue in the 2022 midterm elections.

Tags Amy Coney Barrett Bill Clinton Donald Trump Ed Markey Hank Johnson Jen Psaki Jerry Nadler Joe Biden Mondaire Jones Nancy Pelosi Ruth Bader Ginsburg Stephen Breyer Supreme Court of the United States

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