CNN Touts Liberal Push for Breyer to Retire from Supreme Court

On Friday morning, CNN’s New Day spent an entire segment with The Nation‘s Elie Mystal that demanded liberal Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer to retire immediately and not linger a moment longer so that President Joe Biden can firm a liberal replacement or risk having Breyer or a Democratic senator die when either Republicans retake the Senate or the White House.

Additionally, the same CNN that recently fired former Senator Rick Santorum (R-PA) over what was arguably a clumsy choice of words (which he corrected) showed a double standard by having on Mystal despite a history of racist commentary excoriating whites in his frequent appearances on MSNBC.

Co-host John Berman — who has a history of repeatedly bringing up Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) refusing to let President Barack Obama appoint a Supreme Court justice in his last year — introduced the segment:

So, as the Supreme Court approaches the end of the term this month, all eyes are on whether 82-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer will announce any potential retirement plans which would allow President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats to replace him with a much younger liberal perhaps.

He then brought aboard his liberal guest, boasting:

He (You) just wrote a piece titled, “It’s Time for Stephen Breyer to Retire from the Supreme Court,” so we know where you stand on this. It’s an extensive piece. Everyone should go read it. You say it would be malpractice for him not to step down now. Why?

Mystal complained that Supreme Court justices frequently delay retiring until an age when they are in greater danger of passing away while still in office, creating an unexpected open seat to be filled. He also noted that conservatives have a 6-3 solid majority even though both parties have held the presidency for about an equal amount of time over the last 32 years.

Berman followed up by inviting his guest to explain why he thought it was important for Justice Breyer to retire immediately, leading Mystal to point out that, with only a one-vote majority in the Senate, Democrats could easily lose that majority at any time by the unexpected death of a Senator whose replacement might be appointed by a Republican governor.

As for Mystal’s history of inflammatory comments, just a couple of weeks ago, he declared that white Americans (meaning Republicans) always nominate their “trashiest person” as candidates as he took a shot at Donald Trump.

He’s also declared that it was necessary to “destroy” white Trump supporters in the 2020 presidential election, and derided white men as “scrubs” who will not do their part to stop bad political leaders from getting elected.

This episode of CNN’s New Day was sponsored in part by Kraft. Their contact information is linked.

Transcripts follow:

CNN’s New Day
June 4, 2021
7:56 a.m. Eastern

JOHN BERMAN: So, as the Supreme Court approaches the end of the term this month, all eyes are on whether 82-year-old Justice Stephen Breyer will announce any potential retirement plans which would allow President Joe Biden and Senate Democrats to replace him with a much younger liberal perhaps. 

Joining us now is Elie Mystal. He’s the Justice correspondent for The Nation magazine and a fellow at Type Media Center. He just wrote a piece titled, “It’s Time for Stephen Breyer to Retire from the Supreme Court,” so we know where you stand on this. It’s an extensive piece. Everyone should go read it. You say it would be malpractice for him not to step down now. Why?

ELIE MYSTAL, THE NATION MAGAZINE: Yeah, well, we can’t keep allowing the random wheel of death to choose how our laws are interpreted. This is a mistake that liberals or the conservatives make over and over again. They view themselves as indispensable, they view themselves as irreplaceable, and then they die. As all humans must, they die, but they die at inopportune times where their replacements are picked by presidents of the opposite party. And it’s one of the big reasons we now have a Supreme Court that is slanted towards justices picked by Republican Presidents as opposed to justices picked by Democratic Presidents. For over the last 32 years, we’ve had 16 years of Democratic Presidents and 16 years of Republican Presidents. But Republicans have controlled the Supreme Court right now by a margin of 6-3. It’s because of decisions like the one Breyer is making right now.

BERMAN: And you note this isn’t an issue of Breyer maybe postponing it a year. You know, Joe Biden has got four years in office — maybe wait until year three or year four. You say, “Uh-uh, you have to do it now — you can’t even wait until 2022.” Why?

MYSTAL: Well, there are too many — well, what Mitch McConnell has proven when he stole the Supreme Court seat from Barack Obama that should have gone to Merrick Garland and gave it to Neil Gorsuch — what Mitch McConnell has proven is that he will not — he will simply not confirm a justice appointed by a Democratic President. That — we know that. That’s not a guess. That’s a fact. So if we think — if we extrapolate from there, if we go past the 2022 midterms, there’s a chance that Mitch McConnell retakes the Senate, and that means Breyer can kind of never retire because Mitch McConnell will never confirm his replacement. 

But it gets worse than that because right now the Democrat majority in the Senate is, you know, Kamala Harris’s 51st vote, right?. If any Democratic Senator dies in a state where they can be replaced by a Republican, Mitch McConnell once again can block Breyer’s replacement. So if Pat Leahy in Vermont dies under a Republican governor, gone. If Jon Tester in Montana gets hit by, you know, a caribou or whatever they have up there — if he goes, bam, that’s it for the Democratic majority. So every day Breyer stays on the Court is another day Mitch McConnell gets to spin that wheel of death and see if he gets enough votes to stop his replacement.

BERMAN: Elie Mystal with some blunt talk, I think, right now for our friend Justice Breyer and others. We appreciate you being with us. The piece is in The Nation. It is quite extensive and worth the read. Appreciate it.

(…)

MSNBC’s The Cross Connection
May 22, 2021
11:10 a.m. Eastern

ELIE MYSTAL, THE NATION MAGAZINE: The outcome of the 2016 election was the revenge and the return of white supremacy. That’s what that was. That exact power imbalance that you were talking about earlier, that’s all 2016 was, right? 

TIFFANY CROSS: Yeah.

MYSTAL: We had a black President, and white people got super pissed off with that, and they found the least qualified, lowest account, trashiest person — white person that they could find to hold him up as their god, right? And that’s exactly what they’re doing with Marjorie Taylor Greene right now. I wrote a column about this last week about —

CROSS: Yeah.

MYSTAL: — it’s the same dynamic using Marjorie Taylor Greene to oppose AOC. White people will always find their kind of — their trashiest citizens to stand up against our best citizens. That’s just how they be, so —

TIFFANY CROSS, HOST: That’s kind of how they be, yeah. Well, we kind of be a little tired of it.

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