Justice Breyer Approaches His Retirement Like He Approaches His Judicial Decisions: With An Indeterminate, Multi-Factor Balancing Test
Justice Breyer visited the New York Times bureau in Washington to talk about his new book. His publisher circulated “ground rules,” and said Breyer would not respond to questions about his retirement. Adam Liptak had other plans. Liptak asked Breyer several questions about retirement, and Breyer answered.
Liptak asked Breyer about a Rehnquist quote, and Breyer answered.
He was asked about a remark from Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist, who died in 2005, in response to a question about whether it was “inappropriate for a justice to take into account the party or politics of the sitting president when deciding whether to step down from the court.”
“No, it’s not inappropriate,” the former chief justice responded. “Deciding when to step down from the court is not a judicial act.”
That sounded correct to Justice Breyer. “That’s true,” he said.
Then Breyer volunteered a quote from another Justice that was on this mind:
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