The Supreme Court Justice Death Calculator
How likely is it Antonin Scalia will die in the next four years? Two liberals? Find out with this grim calculator.
Posted Monday, Jan. 14, 2013, at 6:00 AM
Add to the Graveyard
Add a Generic Justice
Any Conservative Justice
Any Liberal Justice
Add a Specific Justice
Graveyard — Click a gravestone to resurrect — Resurrect All
Probability — Based on 10,000 simulations
Odds are at least one Supreme Court Justice will die in the next four years. President Obama surely knows this. And when the American public voted last November, they surely knew it, too.
What are the odds that it will be Using publicly available data from the Centers for Disease Control, we can get rough odds for many different scenarios. It's rough because it assumes, to put it briefly, that Clarence Thomas has the life expectancy of the average 62-year-old black man. Which is likely not true. But it is true that with four justices in their 70s—and Ginsburg turning 80 this year—this Supreme Court is one of the oldest in a long time. As the late great statistician John Tukey put it, “without assumptions there can be no conclusions.” So let’s make some assumptions, for the sake of grim fun.? How likely is it that will die? ?
Chris Kirk is Slate's Interactives Editor.