Defiant Stephen Breyer says he'll only retire when he's ready -- and he has no timetable
Supreme Court judge Stephen Breyer, 82, said he has not yet decided on whether to step down to allow Democrats to name his successor(AFP)

83-year-old Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer told NPR on Thursday that he will only retire when he's ready to do so -- and that he's not setting out a timetable.

When asked by NPR legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg if he had changed his mind about plans to retire, Breyer remained defiant about staying on the Supreme Court for the foreseeable future.

"I'm only going to say that I'm not going to go beyond what I previously said on the subject, and that is that I do not believe I should stay on the Supreme Court, or want to stay on the Supreme Court, until I die," Breyer said. "And when exactly I should retire, or will retire, has many complex parts to it. I think I'm aware of most of them, and I am, and will consider them."

Many Democrats and activists have been pushing Breyer to retire after watching iconic liberal Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg stay on the Supreme Court right up until her death last year at the age of 87, after which she was replaced by Trump nominee Amy Coney Barrett.

The court in recent years has swung to the right, as Trump and the Republican Senate confirmed three conservative Supreme Court justices in the span of four years.