SCOTUS Justice ‘Pressured’ to Resign

In a recent television appearance, Mehdi Hasan, a former host for MSNBC, made a case for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to consider stepping down, providing President Joe Biden the chance to nominate a new liberal justice to the court. This comes against the backdrop of former President Donald Trump’s polling lead in pivotal swing states, pressing Democrats to consider the strategic value of Supreme Court nominations, a field where Republicans have seen significant gains.

On CNN, Hasan underscored the critical nature of such appointments, mentioning the aging Justice Sotomayor, who is approaching 70, and highlighting the stakes involved, particularly concerning abortion rights. Despite Hasan’s call for strategic thinking, CNN journalist Eva Mckend reported that there’s not a broad consensus among Democrats for Sotomayor to retire, with many insisting it remains her prerogative.

The Biden administration has also steered clear of pressuring Justice Sotomayor on retirement, emphasizing the personal aspect of such decisions. Nonetheless, Hasan contested this approach on CNN, critiquing the notion of lifetime appointments to the Supreme Court and pointing out that the American system is notably different from those of other democracies.

Hasan argued in a column that Sotomayor’s retirement shouldn’t be seen as just a personal choice but rather a critical strategic move that could shape the trajectory of American democracy. He invoked the scenario of Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a cautionary tale regarding the timing of Supreme Court retirements.

Journalist Josh Barro echoed Hasan’s sentiments, expressing his astonishment over Sotomayor’s choice to remain on the court and suggesting her retirement could help preserve its current ideological balance. Sotomayor herself has been open about the challenges she faces on a predominantly conservative court, affirming her dedication to continue her judicial duties despite these hurdles.