On the topic of Supreme Court justices ringing down the curtain and joining the bleedin’ choir invisible at inconvenient moments: Would term limits be an improvement? By number of years, age or some combination of the two. (20 years or 70th birthday, whichever comes first.)
Personally, I’m far more bothered by the knowledge that something like Tom Cotton (R-WomenHuman?) could still be sliming around Capitol Hill half a century from now to give it head space beyond the thought that 65 seems too early for a Supreme Court justice, but most people are unlikely to make 90. (No matter how luxuriant their mustachios might be.)
To provide context – The average lifespan for a man in the U.S. is 76 years. For women it is 81 because we fly around on yarrow stalks at night and drain men’s life essences.
[Update – Based on a study cited in the WaPo, the average retirement age for SC justicii is a bit above 80, the reaper shows up for them close to 90. Obviously these figures are for male SCJs only, but it seems fair to add five years for women. The same study found an SCJ is more likely to croak when:
[P]olitical climate effects on death in office are consistent with the politicized departure hypothesis. When the incumbent president is of a different party than the president who appointed the justice, then the justice’s death-in-office odds are about tripled, compared with when the appointing president and the incumbent president are members of the same party.]