Home>Governor>Should Breyer retire? Murphy: ‘That’s way above my pay grade’

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer. (Photo: National Archives and Records Administration).

Should Breyer retire? Murphy: ‘That’s way above my pay grade’

By Joey Fox, September 20 2021 4:40 pm

Despite running a gubernatorial re-election campaign that has focused on the issue of abortion access, Gov. Phil Murphy heartily dodged a question today on whether Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer should retire while Democrats retain control of the federal government.

“I can safely say that is way above my pay grade,” he said at his twice-a-week Covid briefing.

In his fight for re-election against Republican nominee Jack Ciattarelli, Murphy has frequently highlighted his own pro-abortion views and painted Ciattarelli as an opponent of abortion. One of Murphy’s key legislative goals is to pass the stalled Reproductive Freedom Act, which would codify abortion access in New Jersey.

But the larger fight over abortion access is happening in the Supreme Court, not in the New Jersey legislature. The court, which currently has a 6-3 conservative majority, recently allowed the state of Texas to implement a ban on abortions after six weeks, and is set to hear a direct challenge to Roe v. Wade on December 1.

Such an overwhelming conservative majority on the court was only possible because of the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last year; Ginsburg faced calls to retire when Barack Obama was still president, but declined to do so.

Now, with abortion access manifestly under threat by the court, many on the left have been making similar calls for Breyer to retire. But apparently not among them – at least for now – is Phil Murphy.

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