James Fallows writes about the politicization of the Supreme Court and, to his credit, since most polite DC media won’t touch it with a barge pole, this:
Among the implications: life tenure for federal justices, especially for the Supreme Court, has got to go, since it makes the appointment process a crudely cynical actuarial contest. (Locus classicus: Clarence Thomas, age 43 when appointed, so if he watches his weight he could plausibly end up spending most of his life as a sitting though silent Justice.) Eventually a sufficiently ruthless party will nominate Justices while they’re still taking their LSATs.
There’s no way that we’re getting rid of lifetime appointments for federal judges, but it seems like a sensible proposal. True to form, Republicans are already treating court appointments like the actuarial processs that it is. Alito (55) and Roberts (50) were clearly chosen for their youthful vigor along with their other reliable conservative characteristics. But when it came time for Democrats, they appointed a justice with Type I Diabetes, Sonia Sotomayor. We can’t have that. We need more softball-playing, youthful, closeted lesbians. If Obama’s next appointment is over 50, we need to raise hell.