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Supreme Court justice facing liberal media pressure to retire

via NBC

There has been increasing pressure from some liberal journalists, law professors, and Democrats for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to retire while Democrats control the presidency and Senate, so President Biden could appoint a younger replacement.

Citing fears of losing Senate control in the future, they argue Sotomayor should follow the example of retiring at a similar age as the late RBG to solidify the liberal bloc for decades.

“The best thing Sotomayor can do to secure her legacy and increase the likelihood that liberals can gain ground on the court in the future is to retire after 15 years of service, enabling Biden to appoint a younger, liberal judge to replace her and serve for decades to come,” journalist Josh Barro wrote.

“Biden, elected Democrats, and liberals and progressives across the board should be both publicly and privately encouraging Sotomayor to consider what she wants her legacy to be, to remember what happened with RBG, and to not take any kind of gamble with the future of our democracy,” former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan wrote.

“I think the Democrats didn‘t learn lessons. Look, what are we talking about, abortion rights. How did that happen? Dobbs [v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization], how did the Florida decision happen today? [Florida Gov. Ron] DeSantis appointed five of the seven judges. Republicans are very good at stacking courts and getting their people on courts and thinking strategically about filling courts. Democrats aren’t very good at seeing the power of the Supreme Court,” Hasan said.

“Why take the risk? You have a Democratic president and a Democratic Senate, and you have a justice who is about to turn 70,” Hasan said.

“I’m very respectful of Justice Sotomayor. I have great admiration for her. But I think she really has to weigh the competing factors,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal said. “We should learn a lesson. And it’s not like there’s any mystery here about what the lesson should be. The old saying — graveyards are full of indispensable people, ourselves in this body included.”

He added, “Justices have to make their personal decisions about their health, and their level of energy, but also to keep in mind the larger national and public interest in making sure that the court looks and thinks like America.”

“I think Sonia Sotomayor has been a great Supreme Court justice, but I definitely think she ought to announce that she is stepping down from the court this summer after the end of the current Supreme Court term,” Colorado law professor Paul Campos said. “There is a very significant possibility that Joe Biden will not be able to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court during his second term because of Republican control of the Senate. And there’s also a significant possibility that Donald Trump will be able to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court if he were to be reelected president and the GOP controls the Senate.

“The risks here are so high that I think Democrats and progressives, in general, need to learn from the example of the RBG fiasco, and I hope that Justice Sotomayor is really taking this to heart,” he added.

“I would love to see Sotomayor retire,” Supreme Court historian Lucas Powe Jr. said. “I would love to trade her for a 50-year-old justice.”

However, others counter that pushing only liberal justices to retire is unfair given several conservative justices are similar in age, and that Sotomayor remains an important voice after nearly 15 years on the court.

No Democratic lawmakers have directly called for her to step down.

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