WASHINGTON (AP) — Justice Stephen Breyer on Tuesday said liberal advocates of big changes at the Supreme Court, including expanding the number of justices, should think “long and hard” about what they’re proposing.
Politically driven change could diminish the trust Americans place in the court, Breyer said in the prepared text of a long speech he gave remotely Tuesday to Harvard Law School students, faculty and alumni.
His talk, Breyer said, “seeks to make those whose initial instincts may favor important structural (or other similar institutional) changes, such as forms of ‘court-packing,’ think long and hard before embodying those changes in law.”
Breyer, a Harvard law alumnus who also taught at the school, is the court’s oldest justice at 82. President Joe Biden’s election and Democrats’ paper-thin Senate majority have prompted talk that Breyer, appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton in 1994, could soon retire, perhaps as early as the summer.
While he has said nothing publicly about his plans, the speech could be read as a kind of farewell address, filled with calls for the public to view the justices as more than “junior league politicians.”
Related Story: MSNBC host calls on liberal Supreme Court Justice Breyer to retire after his warning against ‘court-packing’
He noted, for example, that despite the court’s conservative majority, the court in the past year refrained from getting involved in the 2020 election, delivered a victory to Louisiana abortion clinics and rejected former President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for immigrants who were brought to the United States as children.
Trump appointed three justices to the court, the last of whom, Amy Coney Barrett, replaced the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in October.
Breyer acknowledged that conservative views prevailed in other decisions.
“These considerations convince me that it is wrong to think of the Court as another political institution,” he said.
Breyer’s speech was part of Harvard’s Scalia Lecture Series, named for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Breyer and Scalia were high-court colleagues for more than two decades.
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Politically driven change HAVE destroyed the trust Americans place in the Democrat party.
This currant liberal Democrat Party’s “racist” equality Con, has little or nothing to do with protecting the sensitivities of Black Americans and everything to do with the Democrats setting themselves up as their saviors. Their practice of patronizing groups cannot yield to the facts. For their cause is not defending the oppressed but about making themselves look wonderful with this political racist Con.
And making sure they will all be owing their lives, they think, to the Dirty Dems. Not even a legal government but have brainwashed and bought off many of these people who find themselves chained to the Dirty Dems for life
That’s why when i first heard what Breyer wrote, i was like “WHAT TRUST”?
SINCE the scotus last year, REFUSED TO HEAR cases of fraud, and such, and for DECADES have refused to hear challenges to MANY GUN CASES, as well as caved in and allowed LGBQ marriage and such, MANY OF us have lost faith in the justice system..
So what the hell does he thing is left to “ruin”?
The total takeover of the United States by the Democrat communist party. A one party system, with guns being forcibly being taken away, from the law abiding American citizen. At the mercy of the Gestapo and the Stasi. Total lawlessness and these communists will hold a public burning of The Constitution. If anyone on this site gets a chance, watch the episode of the Waltons in Season Five, and I believe it was Episode Five , called “The Firestorm”. This episode takes place when Hitler was burning books and the ending is very, very powerful.
Breyer may be a liberal in the traditional sense, but he is wise enough to know what the Democrats are up to, and that the Dems have not forgotten how FDR tried and failed to “pack” the Court so he could get his own way as Supreme Dictator of the USA. They want another shot at being The Supreme Dictator.
OF course they do.. AND that’s why i fear he may have an ‘accident’ much like judge scalia..
I’m almost surprised that Justice Breyer doesn’t seem to understand that a great many of us have lost trust in SCOTUS a long time ago. Everything from Roe v Wade to Obergefell v. Hodges and the courts refusal to take 2nd Amendment cases to settle once and for all issues concerning the 2nd Amendment have left a great many of us believing the court thinks it is there to make law not rule on the constitutionality of the laws the loser politicians pass. You had liberal justices that had preformed same sex marriage refuse to recuse themselves as required by the Constitution in the Obergefell v. Hodges case and helped shove same sex marriage down the throats of the American people. It is sad that the Federal Court system has become a sick joke on the American public.
Then add in the recent calls to JUDGE THE FRAUD on last year’s stolen election, that they REFUSED TO EVEN SEE..
“Politically driven change could diminish the trust Americans place in the court, Breyer said…”
Oh, come now! Courts in China, Russia, Iran, to name but a few, are not trusted by their victims at all and they operate just fine.
It just won’t be the land of the Free and home of the Brave any longer.
Diminish trust in the Supreme court?
Judge Breyer is a day late and a dollar short.
Since Nov 6th 2020 ad even earlier the SCOTUS has been giving the middle finger to “We the People” and the Constitution
The LEFTIST/RINO SCOTUS has clearly embraced the destruction of the Republic and Breyer thinks changes could Diminish trust? Roberts and four other Justices (take you pick) already kicked The Trust to the curb.
Not sure if Justice Breyer has checked recently but most trust in the SUPREME COURT has already diminished !
They are about to pack the court now and I personally don’t see any reason to do that since the Supreme Justices who have not turned traitors are not enough to stop the negative decisions. Guess the dirty Dems must have some really hard evidence to be blackmailing some or plenty of money to buy off the others. NO TRUST LEFT! We have even stopped paying attention since all the rulings that mean anything at all are pushed aside and not even heard. The highest court in the land and at one time most admired judges but just look at them now.
Well, it’s nice to hear some RATIONAL words from Justice Breyer! Too bad they are RARELY in any court RULINGS!
True. IF He really wanted to have some weight behind the words, perhaps he could have gone on TV, and said “WE in the supreme court have reviewed ALL OF bidens executive orders, and ruled 9 to 0, THAT THEY ARE ALL UNCONSTITUTIONAL, and thus struck down”..
The Supreme Court has already lost the trust of the Conservative folks since they have refused to even look at the voter fraud case by the Trump organization which was quite thorough and proven serious discrepancies and overt cheating by many officials which would have turned the outcome of the elections. With that kind of cheating there is no longer a reason to vote because no one was brought to task for this heinous act of treason and treachery. So the there is no reason to NOT cheat again.
How about the first breech of trust was failure to allow Trump to have his evidence allowed in court to prove the election was stolen, cue ball head.
IMO IT started a lot further back than that call.. IMO THAT brainless call, was just the LAST straw, for many of us.
In what is likely to be a first, I agree with Justice Breyer. Efforts by either political party to alter the court is likely to destroy Americans’ confidence in the Supreme Court. Once destroyed, it will not be easily restored.
Intelligent people on both sides of the political divide realize that this partisan initiative will not be a one-time event. The next Republican president who has a Republican Senate will push to restore the political makeup of the court that was in place when Biden became president. That means he will appoint enough justices to give the Court a 2 to 1 Republican bias. Those newly seated justices will set out to reverse the decisions enacted by the Biden Court. Every time political winds change in our country a number of judicial rulings will suddenly face reversal.
How much worse can the Court’s reputation become than the result of Roe v Wade, Gay Marriage, Upholding the unconstitutional Obamacare, and refusing to do its duty to even hear the evidence of the 2020 election steal?