Justice Breyer says term limits would ‘make life easier’ amid calls for retirement

​Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer joked in an interview Sunday that term limits would “make life easier” for him amid calls from progressives to retire so President Biden and Democratic-controlled Senate can fill the lifetime post.

Breyer, 83, was asked by Chris Wallace, host of “Fox News Sunday,” about the possibility of setting 18-year terms instead of life terms on the bench.

“I think you could do that. It should be a very long term because you don’t want the judge who’s holding that term ​to start thinking about his next job. But it would make life easier for me,” the 27-year high court veteran said, smiling. 

​Asked about Democrats urging him to retire while the party holds a majority in the Senate so his successor could be confirmed, Breyer said “they’re entitled to their opinion.”

“I think they — and not only do they understand the political world much better than I ​​– or they understand it pretty well. And there we are. What else do you want me to say?​” the justice said.

Justice Stephen Breyer.
Justice Stephen Breyer says Democrats are urging him to retire while the party holds Senate majority so his successor can be confirmed.
Erin Schaff-Pool/Getty Images
The Supreme Court.
Justice Stephen Breyers said he favors long term limits, like the proposed 18-year limit, but cautioned against increasing the number of justices.
J. Scott Applewhite/AP

Breyer said there are “many factors” he’s considering when it comes to retiring.

“And the role of court and so forth is one of them,” he said. “And​ ​the situation, the institutional considerations are some. And I believe, I can’t say I take anything perfectly into account, but in my own mind, I think about those things.”

Later, he reiterated, “I don’t intend to die on the court. I don’t think I’ll be there forever.”

​In the interview, Breyer also cautioned about Democrats mulling increasing the number of justices on the court now that former President Donald Trump nominated three of them, tipping the court to a 6-3 conservative majority.

Supreme Court justices.
The Supreme Court currently has a 6-3 conservative majority.
Erin Schaff/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

“Well, if one party could do it, I guess another party could do it,” he said. “On the surface, it seems to me you start changing all these things around and people will lose trust in the court.”