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Liberals Calling For Sotomayor To Retire Before Biden Loses

Liberals are getting more nervous about 2024 and some have begun to openly state that one of their favorites needs to retire.

No, it’s not Joe Biden. 

Some liberals have begun suggesting that Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor retire before the election, lest the left find itself in an even greater hole on the nation’s highest court. 

The Daily Caller highlighted discussions this week from multiple liberal columnists who argued that allowing President Joe Biden to appoint a younger justice presently could prevent the potential formation of a 7-2 conservative majority if former President Donald Trump were to return to the White House in 2024. 

This echoes earlier calls from last year, as reported by Politico, indicating that some Democrats near the Biden administration shared the same view. However, they were hesitant to publicly propose that the “first Latina justice” step down to safeguard her seat for the party.

No one has been more open in calling for Sotomayor’s retirement more than Josh Borro, a former Republican who left the party because of Donald Trump. 

“You’re worried about putting control of the court completely out of reach for more than a generation, but you can’t criticize an official who’s putting your entire policy project at risk because she is Hispanic?” writes Borro. “If this is how the Democratic Party operates, it deserves to lose.”

“Sonia Sotomayor will turn 70 this June. If she retires this year, Biden will nominate a young and reliably liberal judge to replace her. Republicans do not control the Senate floor and cannot force the seat to be held open like they did when Scalia died. Confirmation of the new justice will be a slam dunk, and liberals will have successfully shored up one of their seats on the court — playing the kind of defense that is smart and prudent when your only hope of controlling the court again relies on both the timing of the deaths or retirements of conservative judges, plus not losing your grip on the three seats you already hold.

But if Sotomayor does not retire this year, we don’t know when she will next be able to retire with a likely liberal replacement. It’s possible that Democrats will retain the presidency and the Senate at this year’s elections, in which case the insurance created by a Sotomayor retirement won’t have been necessary. But if Democrats lose the presidency or the Senate this fall (or both) she’ll need to stay on the court until the party once again controls both. That could be just a few years, or it could be a while — for example, Democrats have previously had to wait 14 years from 1995 to 2009, and 12 years from 1981 to 1993.2 In other words, if Sotomayor doesn’t retire this year, she’ll be making a bet that she will remain fit to serve through age 82 or 84 — and she’ll be taking the whole Democratic Party coalition along with her in making that high-stakes bet.

If Democrats lose the bet, the court’s 6-3 conservative majority will turn into a 7-2 majority at some point within the next decade. If they win the bet, what do they win? They win the opportunity to read dissents written by Sotomayor instead of some other liberal justice. This is obviously an insane trade. Democrats talk a lot about the importance of the Court and the damage that has been done since the court has swung in a more conservative direction, most obviously including the end of constitutional protections for abortion rights. So why aren’t Democrats demanding Sotomayor’s retirement?”

Feeling the sting of Ruth Bader Ginsberg’s death while Trump was still in office, allowing him to replace her with Amy Coney Barrett, this isn’t the first time that liberals have pushed for the Court’s liberals to step down. 

In 2021, Democratic activists pushed former Justice Stephen Breyer, then 83 years old, to leave the Supreme Court, enabling Biden to “appoint the first-ever Black woman,” Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson in June 2022.

“Brian Fallon, former Executive Director of Demand Justice, which led the charge against Breyer with a petition and billboard truck, told Politico last year that his organization doesn’t have the same thing in mind for Sotomayor.

‘No judge is above reproach, but as crisis-level situations go, this does not seem as acute as Breyer was, or even as urgent a problem as, say, the Democrats’ ongoing refusal to get rid of blue slips,’ Fallon told the outlet, while noting “it is fair to ask the question” about her retirement,” noted The Daily Caller.

Sotomayor has been having a rough time handling being in the liberal 

 minority. During a talk earlier in the year, she said that she’s been “traumatized” by some of the Court’s more conservative rulings. 

“I live in frustration. And as you heard, every loss truly traumatizes me in my stomach and in my heart. But I have to get up the next morning and keep on fighting,” Sotomayor told a group of students at an event at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law.

She’s also been experiencing some health problems. “In February 2018, a medic from Grand Junction, Colorado, accompanied Sotomayor on a trip she made to southern Florida, according to the records.

On a three-day book tour with stops in Illinois and Tennessee in October of that year, the Marshals Service incurred costs for “baggage (medic),” which could refer to medical personnel or be a more benign reference to medical equipment in the justice’s luggage. Sotomayor was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at age 7 and gives herself insulin shots multiple times a day.

Both trips occurred after a January 2018 episode in which paramedics treated her at her home for low blood sugar,” according to reports.

Sotomayor was appointed to the Supreme Court of the United States by President Barack Obama in 2009, becoming the first Hispanic and third woman to serve as a justice. 

This article originally appeared on New Conservative Post. Used with Permission.

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