U.S. Supreme Court

Chemerinsky op-ed calls for retirement of Ginsburg and maybe Breyer


University of California at Irvine law dean Erwin Chemerinsky has a request for one and possibly two justices.

Chemerinsky says in a Los Angeles Times op-ed that Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who turned 81 on Saturday, should retire this summer so President Obama can appoint a successor. “Indeed, Justice Stephen G. Breyer, who will turn 76 this summer, should also carefully consider the possibility of stepping down this year,” Chemerinsky writes.

“A great deal turns on who picks Ginsburg’s successor,” Chemerinsky writes. “There are, for example, four likely votes to overturn Roe vs. Wade on the current court: Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justices Antonin Scalia, Clarence Thomas and Samuel A. Alito Jr. If a Republican president selects Ginsburg’s replacement, that justice easily could be the fifth vote needed to allow the government to prohibit all abortions. On many cases—including ones involving environmental law, healthcare, gay marriage, the death penalty and the rights of those in Guantanamo—the four liberal justices have joined with Justice Anthony M. Kennedy for a progressive result.”

Chemerinsky says Republicans could gain a majority in the Senate in 2014 elections, so the Supreme Court vacancy needs to occur this summer.

Hat tip to How Appealing.

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