On Tuesday, Axios reported that President Joe Biden and White House officials don't see eye to eye with progressive activists on whether to mount a "pressure campaign" to get Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to step down from his position and clear the way for a younger appointee.
"Both Biden and White House chief of staff Ron Klain believe applying such pressure — publicly or even privately — would politicize and damage the institution of the Supreme Court, the sources said. They're also afraid it could backfire," reported Jonathan Swan. "Biden would be perfectly happy if Breyer chooses to step down soon. But the president and Klain disagree strongly with progressive activists who are urging a presidential pressure campaign on Breyer to retire, according to sources with direct knowledge."
This contrasts with activists who fear they only have a narrow window to replace Breyer safely, in case the Senate is captured by Republicans next year or even in case a Democratic senator is replaced in the middle of their term. It also contrasts with former President Donald Trump, who reportedly worked for months to privately convince Justice Anthony Kennedy to retire in 2018.
"The public pressure on Breyer has come mainly from advocacy organizations. The most aggressive has been Demand Justice, led by Brian Fallon, a former spokesman for Hillary Clinton and Obama's Attorney General Eric Holder," said the report. "Demand Justice first called for Breyer to step down in January. They've run an online petition and digital ads, hired a billboard truck to circle the Supreme Court building and organized open letters from law professors and progressive groups — but the best-funded and most established liberal organizations did not join the petition."