With Justice Stephen Breyer retiring from the U.S. Supreme Court, Gov. Ron DeSantis offered some thoughts on Breyer’s eventual replacement Friday.
President Joe Biden has yet to announce who his first Supreme Court nominee will be, but DeSantis urged a selection with “humility” who understands that the role of a Justice is not that of a “philosopher-king.”
“When you’re dealing with picks for the Supreme Court, you want people who are going to be faithful to the law and the Constitution, and understand how our constitutional system was designed to have separate powers,” DeSantis said.
“The job of the judicial branch is to apply the law and Constitution. It’s not to rewrite the law and Constitution. Judges who understand that … have a certain amount of humility to understand the proper role. Doesn’t mean you can’t be active in deciding cases properly before you, and if you have to come down on the constitutional side, you have to do it and do it forcefully.”
“But you’re not a philosopher-king. And you’re not hovering over the entire political system and basically being a super-legislator,” DeSantis added.
The Governor’s comments were the first on record regarding the imminent court vacancy. Breyer will serve on the Court until a replacement is confirmed by the Senate. President Biden has vowed to select a Black woman for the open position.
Shortlist candidates identified by the Associated Press include California Supreme Court Justice Leondra Kruger, U.S. Circuit Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, prominent civil rights lawyer Sherrilyn Ifill and U.S. District Judge Michelle Childs.
DeSantis has not been afraid to weigh in on Supreme Court cases, including critiques of generally right-of-center jurists.
Earlier this month, DeSantis said the decision to uphold a challenge to the Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s private business vaccine-or-test mandates was a “no-brainer.” But the Governor added that Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Brett Kavanaugh failed to show “backbone” in their decision to keep in place a mandate for health care workers.