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Bloomberg Law: Breyer’s Exit Strategy Nods to Supreme Court Politics He DecriedJanuary 27, 2022
Justice Stephen Breyer announced his retirement from the US Supreme Court last week after serving for nearly three decades. Breyer’s decision to retire is contrasted with that of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s, who continued to serve on the nation’s high court while battling illness until her death in 2020. O’Melveny partner Walter Dellinger, who served as President Bill Clinton’s top Supreme Court lawyer, once asked Chief Justice William Rehnquist whether a Justice could consider the sitting president’s party when deciding to retire. “His response was, ‘Of course, it’s not inappropriate. Deciding when to step down is not a judicial act,’” Dellinger said. “By that he meant that judges should be nonpartisan in all of their judicial actions, but deciding when to no longer be a justice is not a judicial act.”
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