White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki declined to defend U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer on Friday from attacks by left-wing groups that say he should resign because he is opposed to packing the Court with additional justices.
The question arose in the wake of Biden’s executive order announcing a commission to study the issue of court-packing.
As Breitbart News reported earlier this week, Breyer opposes the idea:
Justice Stephen Breyer, widely known as one of the three liberal justices on the Supreme Court, warned against left-wing calls to pack America’s highest court with additional justices in order to weaken the conservative majority, explaining during a Tuesday Harvard Law School address that it would “diminish” confidence among the American people.
Breyer delivered the remarks on Tuesday in an address in which he said he aimed to “make those whose initial instincts may favor important structural or other similar institutional changes, such as forms of ‘court-packing,’ think long and hard before embodying those changes in law.”
The implications, the 82-year-old justice said, would be great and undermine the American people’s confidence in the courts and “in the rule of law itself.”
“If the public sees judges as ‘politicians in robes,’ its confidence in the courts, and in the rule of law itself, can only diminish, diminishing the court’s power, including its power to act as a ‘check’ on the other branches,” Breyer explained.
As the Washington Post noted, left-wing groups used his remarks to renew their calls for Breyer to resign to make way for a younger, more radical justice.
On Friday, CBS News White House correspondent Ed O’Keefe asked Psaki to respond to the controversy:
O’Keefe: The president’s commission on expanding the Supreme Court … what is the president’s view of the calls for Justice Breyer to step down?
Psaki: He believes that is a decision justice Breyer will make when he decides it’s no longer time to serve on the Supreme Court.
O’Keefe: But should the groups pushing him to go back off
Psaki: I think I can just speak to what the president’s view is of the Supreme Court justice’s ability to make his own decision.
Throughout the 2020 campaign, Biden dodged questions on court-packing until announcing his plan for a commission.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. His recent book, RED NOVEMBER, tells the story of the 2020 Democratic presidential primary from a conservative perspective. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.