After presumed victories for both Democratic Senate candidates in Georgia, the Rev. Raphael Warnock and Jon Ossoff, some are already eying the future of the Supreme Court.
According to Politico, the progressive group Demand Justice is pushing for liberal Justice Stephen Breyer to retire, in order to replace him with a younger black woman.
“Justice Breyer’s service on the Court has been remarkable, and history will remember him even more fondly if he ends up playing a critical role in ensuring the appointment of the first black woman to the Court,” said Brian Fallon, the group’s executive director.
“Timing his retirement in the coming year would guarantee that opportunity, and it would be wise to do so because the window may prove a narrow one.”
“Justice Breyer’s service on the Court has been remarkable, and history will remember him even more fondly if he ends up playing a critical role in ensuring the appointment of the first Black woman to the Court.”https://t.co/HPVK0cbp1O
— Demand Justice (@WeDemandJustice) January 6, 2021
The 82-year-old Breyer was appointed by former President Bill Clinton in 1994, and is currently the oldest member serving on the bench.
If certified the winners of their Senate races, Ossoff and Warnock will bring the Senate to a 50-50 tie, with presumptive Vice President-elect Kamala Harris being the tiebreaker.
Based on Associated Press and NBC News reports, it appears the candidates racked up enough votes to do just that.
Jon Ossoff defeated David Perdue and the Rev. Raphael Warnock defeated Sen. Kelly Loeffler. The two Republicans had the backing of President Trump in the runoff elections. https://t.co/BrxO6bmb7r
— The Associated Press (@AP) January 6, 2021
NBC News projects Ossoff wins in Georgia; Democrats take control of US Senate
— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) January 6, 2021
The Senate tie will potentially give Democrats just enough votes to confirm a possible Biden Supreme Court pick.
Liberals are hoping for more progressive court picks, as President Donald Trump had the opportunity to choose three conservative judges during his term — Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett. These picks gave the Supreme Court a 6-3 conservative majority.
There are some concerns that Democrats will try to pack the court, increasing the number of judges to even the odds. However, more moderate Democrats, like Sens. Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, would presumably vote against a major change like that.
The Constitution does not explicitly state how many judges can serve on the bench; however, there have not been more or less than nine since 1869, according to the White House’s website.
Now that conservatives have a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court, experts expect them to start moving aggressively next term on hot-button issues—like abortion, race and guns.
The current court may well turn out to be the most conservative since the 1930s.https://t.co/sNy3DrjFbO
— NPR (@NPR) December 29, 2020
If Democrats could successfully drive out Breyer, who would their new pick be?
Fallon told Politico that his organization would like to see District Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson taking a Supreme Court seat, as she is only 50 years old.
Prior to serving on the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, Jackson also clerked for Breyer.
While a new Supreme Court appointment remains speculative for now, an incoming Biden administration will not be able to stop a conservative majority on the court.
The justices Trump appointed are all 55 or younger, meaning they will probably remain on the court for decades to come.
The three will continue to play a massive role in some of the countries’ most important issues, ranging from gun rights to abortion. While liberals can try to change the court, conservatives now have the strong upper hand.
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