Here’s where we come in: with links to shortlisters’ disclosures and a statement explaining the announcement’s implications.
Statement from FTC’s Gabe Roth:
Justice Breyer’s retirement will be the latest in the modern trend of politically timed retirements at the Supreme Court. While we know Breyer is a true believer that the Court is an independent, apolitical institution, the nomination and confirmation scheme as it currently exists makes that an impossibility.
Until we move to regularized appointments and term limits, the only logical choice for Supreme Court justices truly committed to their life’s work is to time their retirements so a like-minded successor can hold the seat for the ensuing 30-plus years. That’s partly what makes SCOTUS the most powerful, least accountable body of Washington.
To depoliticize the Court and take power away from its nine self-styled philosopher-kings, Congress should remove the decision of when to step down from each individual justice.
Justice Breyer will have served an honorable 28 years at the Supreme Court. Much like his questions at oral argument, that will be about twice as long as it should have been.
SCOTUS shortlisters’ latest financial disclosures, via judiciary sources or Free Law Project:
Justice Leondra Kruger (2020): link
Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson (2019): link
Judge Michelle Childs (2018): link
Judge Leslie Abrams (2019): link
Though nothing we’ve seen in these raise red flags, we are working on getting Jackson’s, Childs’ and Abrams’ most recent — i.e., their 2020 — FDs.