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Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Should RBG and SB Retire this summer?

Here's a question for my fellow(ish) Dems prompted by a TNR oped by Randy Kennedy from HLS:  should Ginsburg and Breyer should retire this summer? The logic is that now's as good a time as any for Dems to try to entrench some moderate liberals in those seats given the ages (78 and 72 respectively) of Ginsburg and Breyer.  Elie Mystal from Above the Law takes a typically more controversial approach: RBG and Breyer should stay and Obama should campaign on, among other things, RBG's purported frailty, which would make salient to Americans who are pro-Roe that their vote will have substantial significance for the future of laws affecting reproductive medicine.  As a tactical matter, which move (retirement or staying on) do you think is better for the Dems? As a moral matter? One friend on FB is such an RBG supporter that she says (I hope tongue in cheek) that if RBG thinks she can outlive them all, then we should defer to her. Crazytalk, right?


Posted by Administrators on May 3, 2011 at 10:57 AM in Constitutional thoughts, Current Affairs | Permalink


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Potential maneuvering by Justices about retirement is an unfortunate design flaw of life tenure, one which there are many ways of correcting. But I don't think we should expect people to ignore the potential to "win" without any guarantee that the other side will do the same. So until we until we fix the Supreme Court retirement system, this kind of calculation seems perfectly acceptable.

Posted by: Andrew MacKie-Mason | May 4, 2011 9:48:48 PM

I am deeply disturbed by the idea of wishing current Justices would retire. I think it is deeply disrespectful to them and to their service for our country. I think we should take the high road and want all of the current Justices to stay on for as long as possible -- or at least until a Republican is elected President again.

Posted by: Orin Kerr | May 3, 2011 3:47:47 PM

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