Breyer, a Harvard legislation alumnus who additionally taught on the college, is the court docket’s oldest justice at 82. President Joe Biden’s election and Democrats’ paper-thin Senate majority have prompted discuss that Breyer, appointed by Democratic President Invoice Clinton in 1994, could quickly retire, maybe as early because the summer season.
Whereas he has stated nothing publicly about his plans, the speech could be learn as a sort of farewell handle, full of requires the general public to view the justices as greater than “junior league politicians.”
He famous, for instance, that regardless of the court docket’s conservative majority, the court docket previously 12 months shunned getting concerned within the 2020 election, delivered a victory to Louisiana abortion clinics and rejected former President Donald Trump’s effort to finish authorized protections for immigrants who had been dropped at the US as kids.
Trump appointed three justices to the court docket, the final of whom, Amy Coney Barrett, changed the late Ruth Bader Ginsburg in October.
Breyer acknowledged that conservative views prevailed in different choices.
“These issues persuade me that it’s flawed to think about the Court as one other political establishment,” he stated.
Breyer’s speech was a part of Harvard’s Scalia Lecture Collection, named for the late Justice Antonin Scalia. Breyer and Scalia had been high-court colleagues for greater than twenty years.