Obama WH council says Breyer won’t retire just because left-wing activists ‘bought a van’ he says

Former Obama White House attorney Neil Eggleston predicted Thursday that Judge Stephen Breyer would not step down from his Supreme Court seat simply “because someone bought a van” advocating that it does, an apparent blow to the left-wing justice activists who have done so. only that.

Eggleston was invited at a Federalist Society virtual event to respond to recent efforts by some left-wing activists to get Breyer to step down so that President Biden could appoint a replacement for him before the 2022 midterm.

“When I was a lawyer in the White House, I thought about it in relation to Judge Ginsburg,” Eggleston said. He admitted that one of his former White House colleagues, Christopher Kang, is a co-founder of Demand Justice, the group leading the charge to get Breyer to resign.

But Eggleston said he decided not to take such a step in his role as legal adviser to the White House, the person responsible for Obama’s judicial candidates.


“I just decided that I had nothing to add to the information she already had … I never told the president about it but I just thought, ‘I’m not going to do it, I’m not. I’m not going to call her and suggest that it’s time for her to quit, “Eggleston said.” It’s improper and I’m not going to do it. ”

He added: “I had the same reaction to that. I think Judge Breyer doesn’t need the liberal media and those kinds of people – progressives like me don’t turn on him, he is. in our opinion fantastic justice … he’s going to make the decision he’s going to make. “

“I don’t think he’s going to decide to retire because someone bought a van with ‘Withdraw, Breyer’ in writing to the Supreme Court,” Eggleston added.

In early April, Kang’s group, Demand Justice, actually bought a van with a billboard that read “Breyer, step back… Don’t risk your inheritance.”

Breyer’s pickup truck and intensified retirement calls came shortly after justice criticized the concept of judicial packaging in a speech to Harvard Law students and alumni.

“If the public sees judges as politicians in their robes, their confidence in the courts and the rule of law can only diminish, diminishing the power of the court, including its power to act as a check on others. branches, ”he said.

“This authority, like the rule of law, depends on trust … that the tribunal is guided by legal principles and not by politics,” he continued. “Structural alteration motivated by the perception of political influence can only fuel that latter perception, further eroding that trust. There is no shortcut.”

On April 23, 2021, members of the Supreme Court Photo File pose for a group photo at the Supreme Court in Washington. Seated left to right, Associate Judge Samuel Alito, Associate Judge Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John Roberts, Associate Judge Stephen Breyer and Associate Judge Sonia Sotomayor, and Associate Judge Brett Kavanaugh, Associate Judge Elena Kagan, Associate Judge Neil Gorsuch and Associate Judge. Amy Coney Barrett. This is the first photo of all the judges assembled after the death of late judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Barrett’s confirmation. (Erin Schaff / The New York Times via AP, Pool, File)


Eggleston made the comments at a Federalist Society forum on judicial appointments and confirmations under President Biden. Other panelists included Judicial Crisis Network President Carrie Severino.

“I agree with Neil, it’s inappropriate,” Severino said of the effort to get Breyer to resign. “I think if anything of that response, in particular coming as it did almost immediately after Breyer’s own rejection of the court case … I don’t think that’s appropriate and I think it might as well. further politicize this seat.

Judges often announce their retirement near the end of a court term, meaning that if Breyer does plan for retirement, his announcement should be due in the next month or so.

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