Professor Garrow Questions Cognitive Decline of Supreme Court Justices

Professor David Garrow published an article in the LA Times that points out that there are currently four Supreme Court justices over the age of 75. He questions if their mental acuity is holding up well enough to make decisions on the biggest court cases in this country. Garrow believes, "Our court system and the law benefit from the wisdom of judges with many years of experience. But the federal judiciary...is simply too important to leave in the hands of 'old fogeys,'" a term justice Scalia has called himself in the past.

Federal judges across the country now have an average age over 70, with some even in their 90s. There are some circuits with programs in place to help keep the justices sharp as they get older, as well as hotlines staff can call to report any perceptions of mental decline. However, there is no collective strategy to cope with the potential cognitive decline of these high-ranking jurists. Garrow recommends there be a judicial retirement age of 70 or 75, or alternatively, a limit of 18 years serving.

Read more in "Four Supreme Court Justices are older than 75. Is that a problem?" from the LA Times.