Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer laments anti-abortion ruling: "very, very, very wrong."

Originally published at: Supreme Court justice Stephen Breyer laments anti-abortion ruling: "very, very, very wrong." | Boing Boing



Well, he’s not wrong.


There was a high justice named Breyer
Who said that this ruling was dire.
“What fools these on the bench!
Were I truly a mensch
Under Biden I’d choose to retire.”


Honestly Steve, now would be a good time to retire- let Biden appoint someone and, you know, get them on the fucking bench before the Republicans win back the Senate in the midterms next year. Get a hobby- I hear fly fishing is a lot like being a justice. Or maybe make busts of historical figures out of dryer lint. Whatever. Just sit your ass down and make way for someone younger and more progressive.


Nor is there much he can do while remaining a Supreme. It’s up to other people who have the power to change the court’s makeup.

By chance I was reading this, readable, discussion of the batshit crazy and deeply dishonest “originalist”, and I say this deliberately, nonsense earlier on.

The notion of William fucking Blackstone being who you look to in deciding a case in the 21st century is risible nonsense. In common law, lest you ask.


Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer says that the court’s dead-of-night decision to allow Texas’s abortion ban to come into law was “very, very, very wrong”.

No s–t, Stephen. You can best express your disappointment and frustration by retiring now, ensuring that your replacement will be appointed by Biden and confirmed by a Democratic Senate.


True. In addition to retiring under Biden, he could also throw his weight behind encouraging Biden to pack the court. At this point it’s really the only way to prevent more of these very, very, very wrong decisions in the future.


If the GOP had majority of 50 senators +VP they would run roughshod over the country. Dems can’t even get together to vote on things that would be good for America.


Or maybe Breyer, like Ginsberg, really does believe Justices should be as nonpartisan as possible and his sole role is to make rulings in accordance with his reading of the US Constitution while leaving the issue of his successor to the elected politicians.

Naive? Probably. But there’s a fine line between a naif and an idealist.


This makes me think of Yeat’s “the Second Coming”

The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity

Being an ostrich won’t achieve anyone’s ideals


the npr interviewer summarized his position as: he doesn’t want to die while serving, and he believes it takes time for a new justice to acclimatize to the role

he may either be referring to the new justices: a desire to use his experience to try to put them on the right path, or [ as the interviewer posits ] a whole bunch of upcoming cases he wants to help get done well

hopefully, he doesn’t wait till the last year of biden’s term though. we’ve seen how well that works…


Good thing he’s not planning on retiring until we have a Republican in office.



Disclaimer: I didn’t click through to the interview and I’m not an expert on the court or on Breyer.

But: (begin rant)

Breyer appears to be a pragmatist; I remember reading that his goal was to “make the law more useful” or something like that. As far as I’m concerned, that only makes his determination to stay put more confounding. He must know what will happen if the republicans get a chance to replace him - extrapolating from Amy Coney Barrett and Brett Kavanaugh suggests that we’ll see Justice Roy Mohr or Joe Arpaio next.

Breyer doesn’t have three years to make a decision, he has at most 6 months. Once the ‘22 campaign season gets underway, nothing substantive will be accomplished. With Joe Manchin and Kristen Sinema blocking voting rights and filibuster reform, I don’t like the Democrats chances of staying in control of the Senate, and Moscow Mitch will have no qualms about holding that seat open until another low-rent Mussolini cosplayer is decorating the Oval Office.

(/end rant)


He can’t even wait until next term. It would be very disruptive to retire mid-session, so he won’t do that and if he waits any longer the Senate could very likely flip and close off any possibility of retaining a liberal seat as @UUbuntu points out. The 2022 election begins in a few months, like it or not. If he doesn’t retire by Jan ‘22 we are very likely screwed.

ETA: @Faffenreffer nails it, too:



Nina shoulda responded to that last “answer” with: “Objection! Nonresponsive.”

Answer the question, Stevie.


Breyer saying “And I wrote the dissent,” is kinda like Gen. Lee saying “And I got a statue in my likeness.”


Such a succinct encapsulation of how conservatives have chosen hard power and liberals have chosen soft power.

They’re both fearsome weapons if you invest enough over a long enough period of time.

Intelligent critics on both sides decry their side’s complete bungling of the other type of power.

Liberals/progressives will always win the war of ideas eventually, but conservatives will always retain the power to shape the world to their liking long after it’s clear they’ve lost majority opinion.

So it is and always has been.


Really? I’d like to think that’s true but can think of too many counterexamples in history to be convinced. And winning the war of ideas is harder than ever with the fragmented media ecosystem that allows people to only be exposed to the ideas which they already believe to be true.


The Dems don’t have 50 senators. They have only 48. They couldn’t confirm David Chipman for ATF because Angus King, an Independent, wouldn’t join them.