(the notorious RBG) will die soon. She has long been looking frail and fragile. I really doubt she is reliably cognitively intact anymore. Nodding off during the SOTU, saying goofy things that a judge should never say (her frontal lobes that inhibit behavior are very clearly shot), looking frail–these all are symptoms or signs of major age-related cognitive decline. If the universe were fair, SHE would have died and not the far more robust-looking Scalia. He was much more cognitively intact. Then again, at least Trump is naming Scalia’s replacement and not she-who-must-not-be-named. SCOTUS has become the ultimate super-legislature, and the importance of these judges has gone through the roof. I just don’t think that issue got the attention it deserved in the run-up to the election.
But honestly, Ginsburg can’t be long for this world. All these are great arguments for forced retirement of SCOTUS judges at a certain age. Look, when the Constitution was written, few lived much past 40. Almost no one hit 65. You could just drop dead working in the fields because at 42 you were still physically able to work in the fields! There is a very good reason the Social Security retirement age was set at 62-65–because hardly anyone lived that long! So in terms of government finances it worked. Now, when people regularly are spry, vigorous, and healthy at 62-65 and move to Majorca or get a motor home and golf and visit the grandkids for 20 years, it doesn’t.
Back then, Judges died when they were young enough to be fully cognitively intact. Now, not so much. I would set the age limit at 80. But we can debate that, and should. Trump will virtually for sure replace RBG and Anthony Kennedy. Scalia is gone, so Trump already has to nominate a replacement. Thomas also will very likely be gone soon. Scalia and Thomas have long been the most conservative justices, and one is already gone and the other may be soon. So Trump will almost for sure put 3 people on the court and probably 4. Thank Heaven Hillary lost! We really dodged a bullet, there.