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Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer does not think he will remain on the court up until his death.
“I don’t think I’m going to stay there till I die — hope not,” he said during an interview on Thursday, according to the New York Times.
Breyer, who was nominated by President Bill Clinton in 1994, is currently the oldest justice on nine-member Supreme Court. He is 83-years-old.
“There are many things that go into a retirement decision,” he said, according to the Times.
Breyer recalled something that the late Justice Antonin Scalia had said to him: “He said, ‘I don’t want somebody appointed who will just reverse everything I’ve done for the last 25 years,'” Breyer said. “That will inevitably be in the psychology” of his choice, he noted.
Breyer is widely regarded as one of the three liberal justices currently sitting on the bench, along with Justices Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor who were both nominated by President Barack Obama.
Prior to her passing last year, 87-year-old Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, a liberal icon, had been the oldest member on the high court.
President Trump nominated Amy Coney Barrett, who at the time was 48-years-old, to fill the vacancy that arose from Ginsburg’s death. Barrett, who is now 49, is the youngest member currently on the court.
If Justice Breyer chose to step down during President Biden’s tenure in office, the president would have the opportunity to appoint a younger individual who could potentially remain on the Supreme Court for decades to come.
“Thanks to Senate Democrats, President Biden has seen more total circuit and district court nominees confirmed before July 4th of his first year than any other recent president,” Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said in a “Dear Colleague” letter last month. “We will continue this critical work in the months to come. As always, Senate Democrats stand ready to expeditiously fill any potential vacancies on the Supreme Court should they arise.”