Amy Klobuchar Calls for Stephen Breyer to Retire 'Sooner Rather Than Later'

Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) has said that if Supreme Court Associate Justice Stephen Breyer chooses to retire, he should do so "sooner rather than later" for the good of the court.

Klobuchar spoke to CNN's Dana Bash on Sunday about the court's recent 5-4 decision not to grant a stay against a restrictive new Texas abortion law that effectively bans all abortions after around six weeks of pregnancy.

There has been significant discussion about the 83-year-old Breyer's future on the court following the late Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's decision not to retire during the last Democratic administration.

Klobuchar told Bash she was in favor of abolishing the Senate filibuster in order to guarantee abortion rights in the U.S. through legislation.

Currently, the filibuster prevents matters from being considered unless there are 60 votes to advance the issue - a tool that allows the Republican minority to curtail consideration of Democratic proposals.

The senator said that while there were some pro-choice Republicans in the Senate, there were not enough to reach that 60 vote threshold.

"So my solution to this, which is my solution for voting rights and so many other things, including climate change, where one side of the country is in flames, the other side of the country is flooded with people dying submerged in their cars - I believe we should abolish the filibuster."

"I do not believe an archaic rule should be used to allow us to put our heads in the sand, to use Justice [Sonia] Sotomayor's words, to put our heads in the sand and not take action on the important issues - the challenges that are facing our country right now - now and over the next years," Klobuchar said.

Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar renews her call for Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire “sooner rather than later,” telling @DanaBashCNN that the court’s decision allowing Texas’ restrictive anti-abortion law to stand adds urgency.

— CNN (@CNN) September 5, 2021

Later in the interview, Bash asked Klobuchar if she still believed Breyer should retire sooner rather than later.

"I stick to my word," Klobuchar said. "I believe if he is seriously considering retirement, and he has said he would do it based on not only his own health but also the future of the court, if this decision doesn't cry out for that, I don't know what does."

"I think if he's gonna do it, sooner rather than later. And again, as you know Dana, that's not gonna change the results necessarily but at least it doesn't put it at 7-2," the senator said.

Breyer is the oldest serving member of the Supreme Court and the most senior of the court's three liberals. Democrats and progressives have expressed increasing concern over whether Breyer might stay on the court into another Republican administration and then pass away, allowing a future GOP president to nominate a conservative to replace him.

Justice Ginsburg's decision not to retire during the Obama administration and her death in the last months of former President Donald Trump's presidency meant she was succeeded by Associate Justice Amy Coney Barret, solidifying the court's conservative majority at 6-3.

In an interview with The New York Times last month, Breyer indicated that he was still considering retirement plans but did not want to die while on the court.

"I don't want somebody appointed who will just reverse everything I've done for the last 25 years," Breyer said.

"I don't think I'm going to stay there till I die — hope not," he said.

Amy Klobuchar Speaks at Senate Judiciary
U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) speaks during a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing titled, "Breaking the News: Censorship, Suppression, and the 2020 Election" on Capitol Hill on November 17, 2020 in Washington, DC. Klobuchar has said Justice Stephen Breyer should retire "sooner rather than later" if he's considering it. Hannah McKay-Pool/Getty Images