Klobuchar urges Justice Breyer to retire ‘sooner rather than later’

The senator also reiterated her support for the abolishment of the filibuster.

Sen. Amy Klobuchar speaking with attendees at the 2019 Iowa Federation of Labor Convention hosted by the AFL-CIO in Altoona, Iowa. (Gage Skidmore/Flickr)

Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota recently went on TV to decry the Supreme Court’s refusal to block Texas’ heartbeat law and to call on liberal Justice Stephen Breyer to retire in the near future.

In a Sunday interview with Dana Bash on the CNN program “State of the Union,” Klobuchar called the heartbeat law an “assault on women’s health” and falsely stated that it enables vigilante justice against a woman seeking an illegal abortion.

“[Justice Roberts] said that the Texas law was unusual, it was unprecedented, that they’re basically taking their own authority and giving it to the populace in the form, ‘Hey, you can be a bounty hunter. [For] $10,000 you can report a woman who’s trying to go and seek her constitutional rights,'” she claimed.

However, Klobuchar is mischaracterizing the law. It neither seeks to punish a woman who gets an illegal abortion, nor encourages private citizens to “bounty hunt” them. The law only allows citizens to file a lawsuit against the provider or facilitator of an illegal abortion.

The senator also reiterated her support for the abolishment of the filibuster and encouraged Justice Breyer, a liberal justice who has been considering retirement, to leave the bench “sooner rather than later.”

“I believe if he is seriously considering retirement — and he’s said he would do it based on not only his own health, but also the future of the court,” she said. “If this decision doesn’t cry out for that, I don’t know what does.”

“I think if he’s going to do it, sooner rather than later. And again, that’s not going to change the results necessarily, but at least it doesn’t put it at 7-2,” she added.

As for the filibuster, Klobuchar said lawmakers need to abolish it in order to weave Roe v. Wade into the fabric of the law and pass other major Democrat-backed legislation.

“My solution to [codifying Roe v. Wade], which is my solution for voting rights and so many other things, including climate change … I believe we should abolish the filibuster,” she said. “I do not believe an archaic rule should be used to allow us to put our heads in the sand and not take action on the important issues, the challenging issues that are facing our country right now and over the next years.”

Abolishing the filibuster is a contentious issue that could easily backfire, however, which could explain why many Democrats, including President Joe Biden, appear reluctant to press the issue alongside Sen. Klobuchar and others.