Blogger Josh Marshall goes there…
We all know that life is unpredictable. Someone in their forties can be befallen by terrible illness and someone like Justice Stevens can keep on going alert and in apparent good health on the verge of 90. But given the odds, does it make sense for the president to put someone on the Court who is already 60 or over? Scalia was 50 when he joined the court in 1986. Thomas was a mere 43. Alito was a comparative old 56.
What a strange tension. Many older jurists have accumulated a valuable store of experience but, due to their advanced age, might not be able to serve on the court for very long. Younger candidates are, necessarily, less experienced but have the advantage of sticking around for a long time.
This is a perverse set of incentives.