Friday, June 28, 2013

You smart Liptak!!!

Adam Liptak at the NTY:
The more meaningful way to look at the court is as a movie, one starring Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. as a canny strategist with a tough side, and his eyes on the horizon. He is just 58 and is likely to lead the court for another two decades or more.
Is that really true? The average life expectancy for a male in the U.S. is  between 75.35 and 75.92 (depending on which study you look at). I believe those are averages of all people, which means it includes everyone who died prior to age 58, something that Justice Roberts obviously has not done. So the applicable average for him is probably a bit higher. According to the Social Security Administration's actuarial tables, the average time that a 58 year old male has left is 22.82 years. Plus, Supreme Court justices probably get the best medical care that this country offers, so Roberts' actual expectancy might be a bit higher.

So yeah, Liptak is right.  Odds are, Roberts will spend another two decades on the court unless he decides to retire.

(When I started writing this post I didn't think he would be right. So much for my "you stupid Liptak!!!" idea. Somethings the evidence just doesn't bear out the original concept for a post. But after I went through all the trouble of looking this shit up--all to make a fairly minor point about a barely relevant detail in an article that focuses on something else--I might as well post it. So I am.)