Retired Justice Stephen Breyer signals support for age and term limits in the Supreme Court – Washington Examiner

Retired Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer signaled his support for age and term limits for Supreme Court justices.

In an interview with NBC News’s Meet the Press, Breyer was asked if he supported term or age limits for justices amid wider scrutiny of age in the Supreme Court and politics generally. He answered by saying he didn’t have a problem with it, but that terms should be long to preserve the integrity of the court.

“I’ve said, and I think it’s true, I don’t think that’s harmful,” he said, regarding term or age limits. “If you had long terms, for example, they’d have to be long. Why long? Because I don’t think you want someone who’s appointed to the Supreme Court to be thinking about his next job. And so, a 20-year term? I don’t know, 18? Long term? Fine. Fine. I don’t think that would be harmful.”

Breyer even suggested that term limits would have been helpful in his case, allowing him to avoid “difficult decisions.”

“I think it would have helped, in my case,” he said. “It would have avoided, for me, going through difficult decisions when you retire. What’s the right time? And so, that would be OK.”


Elsewhere in the interview, Breyer defended his conservative former colleague, Justice Clarence Thomas, over calls to recuse himself from 2020 election cases over his wife Ginni Thomas’s support for allegations of election fraud.

“To answer directly, I don’t have enough information. But I’ll tell you this. I do have a very independent wife,” Breyer said. “And I do think it is important that spouses now in today’s world make their own decisions. And there we are. I’m not saying she was right or wrong in that decision. But I do know that she is an independent person. And you have to hold these things in principle across the board. So it’s their decision as far as I know. I don’t know the details of it.”