Why Justice Breyer May Resist Calls for His Retirement


“If the public sees judges as politicians in robes,” he mentioned, “its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power.”

Artemus Ward, the writer of “Deciding to Leave: The Politics of Retirement From the United States Supreme Court,” mentioned Justice Breyer may keep on to protect the court docket from expenses of partisanship.

“Breyer is a justice who is with the chief justice in trying to protect the institution,” mentioned Professor Ward, a political scientist at Northern Illinois University. “Justices care about the court, and the court is arguably very vulnerable right now.”

“This is a guy who I believe is not going to retire,” he mentioned of Justice Breyer.

If judges have been actually apolitical, they’d not time their departures with politics in thoughts. But they do, no less than on the decrease federal courts, based on a new study that checked out retirements amongst federal judges earlier than and after elections wherein a president of a special political occasion gained management of the White House.

“When the presidency changes from the opposite party of the president who appointed the judge to the same party, judges are substantially more likely to retire just after the election than just before the election,” mentioned Ross M. Stolzenberg, a demographer on the University of Chicago, who performed the research with James T. Lindgren, a legislation professor at Northwestern. (The impact was considerably stronger for judges appointed by Republican presidents.)

“I was absolutely stunned by this,” Professor Stolzenberg mentioned. “I guess I should be surprised that I was surprised. But I’d like to think that judges are not political.”

The Constitution grants federal judges life tenure to insulate them from politics. But it appears that evidently politics performs a task at each the start and the top of their careers, not solely throughout what has grow to be a brutally partisan affirmation course of but additionally in retirement selections.



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