Well, happy Thanksgiving, a day when many utter those immortal words, "I guess I'll eat myself to death". Which words impel me to rant, not for the first time, about the most asinine bit of innumeracy. Not quite as stupid as believing that one can acquire syphilis from a public toilet seat, but real close.
So, in the last few days, whilst watching Pundit TeeVee, a talking head and some of the usual pundits were discussing The Manchurian President scandals. Along the way, one of the group said that the Founders couldn't have conceived of judges living as long as they do today, thus they wouldn't have made Federal judgeships lifetime appointments had they understood this. Well, it was fist-through-monitor time!!! This wasn't a bunch of Faux News propagandists! These were the usual gang of idiots from the Effete Eastern Intellectual Cabal! Gad.
I do acknowledge that innumeracy is rampant, and is one reason that The Manchurian President so easily gulls so many. But come on. The life span of a 65 year old in 1800 is not that much shorter than it is today. And much of today's longer life span after 65 is spent drugged up to the gills. We haven't cured any of the diseases of being old, have we? We can add a handful of months to cancer or cardiac patients, but these are merely delaying tactics. Diabetes and obesity, mark my words, will soon enough drive down lifespan, both measures, any day now.
What flummoxes civilians (those not of the demographer et al classes), is the simple statement that in year X lifespan was 45 years and today it's 75, or thereabouts. Civilians then jump to the conclusion that those "extra" 30 years have gotten tacked on at the end. Nope. More than once in these missives, I've dragged out the numbers (which I'm too full to do again; ok, here's a table), but the increased lifespan of a 65 year old from the start of Social Security to today is about 6 years, not 30. Fact is, from the beginning of time to the early 20th century, the lifespan of a 65 year old was pretty much static. It wasn't until then that medicine began to find methods to keep geezers alive a bit longer.
The answer to the question: "where, Dr. Robert, did those 30 years come from?" is simple. Almost entirely from massively reducing childhood mortality through vaccines, and adult mortality through antibiotics. The last couple of decades added some time from smoking reduction. But all of this just means that more folks get to 65 than in previous times. The average lifespan goes up just because lots and lots fewer folks are kicking the bucket by 40. That's it. That's just how average works.
Since there are age requirements for elected Federal positions, one might assume that there are for judges, well...
Believe it or not, the U.S. Constitution sets forth no specific requirements about who can become a federal judge.
A federal judge is not even required to possess a law degree!
Therefore, The Manchurian President could nominate Ivanka, aka The Pinhead, and get her appointed. If he found enough dirt on enough senators to coerce them to vote. Now go stuff yourself.