Put them out of our misery

Earlier this month, I advocated term limits for Supreme Court Justices. It turns out that the splendid economist Gary Becker agrees, and that his blogging partner, the splendid judge Richard Posner, also finds merit in this approach.
Becker notes, and quantfies, the phenomenon I described in my post — these days, Justices are appointed at a younger age, and serve until an older age, than used to be the case. He then asks:

Do we really want 80 year olds, who have been removed from active involvement in other work or activities for decades, and who receive enormous deference, in large measure because of their great power, to be greatly influencing some of the most crucial social, economic, and political issues? My answer is no.

I find it difficult to perceive the principled case for answering Becker’s question in the affirmative.


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