But pressuring him to do so would be “unseemly” dontchaknow:
But any pressure, whether from interest groups, lawmakers or even the White House, may have precisely zero effect on Breyer’s decision-making, according to Neil Eggleston, White House counsel for President Barack Obama from 2014 until 2017.
“I don’t think a call from the White House or even pressure from interest groups is going to matter much to Justice Breyer,” he said. “The way I think about it is, a call from the White House or a call from interest groups are not adding more information that he doesn’t already have in connection with what he’s going to decide to do.”
Eggleston explained how he considered whether the White House should talk retirement with the elderly Justice Ginsburg during his tenure at the White House. But then Eggleston decided against it.
“It’s a little unseemly for a White House to suggest to a justice that they should retire and that the White House didn’t have any information that Justice Ginsburg didn’t already have, and so I just decided she would decide what she thought was appropriate,” he said.
How’d that work out?
And that may be how President Biden is thinking. White House press secretary Jen Psaki said last month that Biden believes retirement is Breyer’s choice.
Hopefully this is just for public consumption, and behind the scenes some sort of modified LBJ-style “persuasion” is going on, instead of the absurd nonsense that played out with Ginsburg.
Again, the Democratic majority in the Senate hangs by a frayed thread. I estimate that the odds of losing it are about 2% per month, every month between now and January of 2023.
As for people who say there’s no real difference between 6-3 and 7-2, please stop by my friendly home poker game when you get a chance.