Liberal CNN legal analyst Jeffrey Toobin was openly frustrated Thursday concerning Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer’s refusal to heed calls from the left to retire and make way for a younger progressive.
In a “New Day” segment flagged by the Media Research Center, Toobin declared that, although Breyer “does have all his marbles” and can choose when to retire, he was “gambling with the future of the Supreme Court.”
In a new interview this week with CNN, Breyer said he had not decided when he would retire.
“As usual, Stephen Breyer is playing checkers and Mitch McConnell is playing chess,” Toobin told co-hosts John Berman and Brianna Keilar. “The idea that he is somehow preserving the court by pretending that politics has nothing to do with the Supreme Court is just delusional. But he’s in charge of whether Stephen Breyer retires, and he is in good health. He does have all his marbles.”
“But the fact is if he waits like Ruth Ginsburg waited, thinking that, ‘oh, well, you know, a Democrat will somehow replace me,’ then we’ll get another Amy Coney Barrett when Tom Cotton is president, or whoever the next Republican is,” Toobin added. “This is the kind of absence of strategic thinking that has done in Democrats on the Supreme Court and we’ll see if it continues here.”
Toobin predicted, based off historical trends, that Republicans would win back the Senate in the 2022 midterm elections and that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., would not hold a vote on a Democratic Supreme Court nominee if he becomes majority leader.
“The window for him to leave is extremely small to assure a Democratic replacement. Maybe he’ll leave next year. But who knows what the story will be next year before the midterms,” Toobin said. “He is gambling with the future of the Supreme Court and Ruth Ginsburg lost that gamble. We’ll see what happens with Stephen Breyer.”
Biskupic argued that Breyer wanted to seize on the influence he had being the senior liberal justice on the court and suggested he could continue on the court “for one more year.”
“What other job do we say that 82-year-olds shouldn’t retire? I mean, come on! 82 is not the new anything. 82 is old. He’s been on the court since 1994. No one’s shoving him off prematurely,” Toobin said. “What is it with these justices that they can’t say, you know what, I’ve been here for 20 years, 30 years. It’s time to go.”
Toobin, who returned to the airwaves last month after his Zoom masturbation scandal, was previously mocked for another outburst of panic concerning the Supreme Court, when a claim he made in 2018 – that the retirement of Justice Anthony Kennedy would lead to abortion being illegal in 20 states by 2019 – didn’t come to fruition.