Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer announced his resignation from the Court today. Nominated in 1994 and, in a less partisan time, confirmed by a unanimous vote, Breyer served for almost three decades.
CNN’s Wolf Blitzer and several other network’s commentators immediately trumpeted how Breyer’s move was timed so that President Biden would be the one to nominate his successor. Yet, that is not what Breyer said. In an interview on Fox News in September, Breyer said that politics would not be the motivating factor in determining when he retired and went on to say that the Supreme Court was not and should not be political. The Court’s only job is to interpret laws that others make.
All of the things that went into Breyer’s decision can only be known by him. Yet, in a day when the media—social and mainstream-are constantly telling us how interpreting our laws is a political exercise in spite of the fact that the Court’s ‘liberals’ and ‘conservatives’ often vote against their medial-labeled reputation, it is a credit to Justice Breyer that he has sought to maintain the integrity of the Court and fought to uphold the credibility of our justice system in the public’s eyes. For that, and for his years of public service, we owe our gratitude to Justice Breyer.