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  Why Justices Ginsburg and Breyer should retire now
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Last EditedJ.R.  May 07, 2011 12:41am
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News DateThursday, April 28, 2011 06:40:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionJustices Ruth Bader Ginsburg and Stephen Breyer should soon retire. That would be the responsible thing for them to do. Both have served with distinction on the Supreme Court for a substantial period of time; Ginsburg for almost 18 years, Breyer for 17. Both are unlikely to be able to outlast a two-term Republican presidential administration, should one supersede the Obama administration following the 2012 election. What's more, both are, well, old: Ginsburg is now 78, the senior sitting justice. Breyer is 72.

Is such a suggestion an illicit politicization of the Court? No. It is simply a plea for realism, which is often difficult to muster in the face of the idolatry that suffuses popular thinking about the justices and their role in American democracy. There is no question that the justices are often strategic in deciding when to depart the bench, even if they are quiet about their aims.
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