On the fence

Stephen Breyer has been my favorite U.S. Supreme Court justice ever since he was appointed to that job. He's smart, and clever, and his heart is in the right place. We had mutual friends. I like him even better than I liked Justice Ginsburg, and that is saying a lot.

Breyer's in a tough spot now. At age 83, he's finally the top dog on the left side of the Court. But that side has only three judges left on it. And if he doesn't retire before the Democrats lose their razor-thin edge in the Senate, he may wind up being replaced by a young conservative type, leaving the liberals outvoted by 7 to 2 instead of by 6 to 3.

Today we read that Breyer hasn't made up his mind yet when he will step down.

I'm sure part of his resistance to the pressure to retire is to try to help portray the Court as being above politics. But hey, Your Honor, look down the hall. Justices Budweiser and Handmaid are as political as it gets, Trumpies no less, and they'll be screwing things up long after our funerals. The things that they'll allow to be done in the name of "religious freedom" are going to curl everyone's hair.

Breyer has had a great run. I hope he figures out a way to retire that doesn't seem like he's bowing to the political pressure. But I do hope he retires this summer, and has a long and happy time as a senior justice starting in September.