Sonia Sotomayor's Retirement Is A 'Personal Decision': White House

The Biden administration shot back at calls from the left for Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor to retire, calling it a “personal decision” the White House wasn’t getting involved in.

“When it comes to those types of decisions, those are personal decisions, regardless of if it’s Justice Sotomayor or any other justice on the bench,” White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said at a Wednesday press briefing.

“That is for them to make, that is a decision for that justice to make. Again, it’s a personal decision. That is not something that we get involved in, but it is something for, obviously, any justice on the bench. They should be given the space and freedom to make that decision.”

The question follows increasing debate over whether Democrats ought to pressure Sotomayor to retire. The 69-year-old, who has Type 1 diabetes, is the oldest sitting Supreme Court justice appointed by a Democratic president. If the party loses either the White House or the Senate in November, it may lose the ability to choose her replacement for years to come.

With the Supreme Court already dominated by a six-justice conservative majority, a small but vocal group of legal experts are encouraging Sotomayor to step down.

One expert told HuffPost he feared “the Ruth Bader Ginsburg precedent.” Democrats resisted putting pressure on Ginsburg to resign; when the 87-year-old passed away in 2020, former President Donald Trump rushed to appoint Amy Coney Barrett as her successor.

“I have PTSD from 2020,” former MSNBC host Mehdi Hasan said on CNN Tuesday, adding, “Republicans are very good at stacking courts, at getting their people on courts ... Democrats aren’t very good at seeing the power of the Supreme Court.”

Democratic senators have said they would not join calls for Sotomayor to retire. But Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) called for her to make her decision carefully.

“I’m very respectful of Justice Sotomayor. I have great admiration for her. But I think she really has to weigh the competing factors,” he told NBC. “We should learn a lesson. And it’s not like there’s any mystery here about what the lesson should be.”