Then there are Supreme Court justices, who in many ways hold power beyond that of legislators. Certainly, the position entails a far higher level of intellectual rigor. The average age in that institution is 69. Five justices are older than 70, and another two are older than 60. Justice John Paul Stevens is 88 years old.
In 2004, 6 in 10 Americans believed that there should be a mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court justices -- probably because, like me, they often can't get their children's names straight, much less remember what the Third Amendment says (though in the end, we all stand united against the quartering of soldiers).
Many older Americans will claim to be sharper and more physically active in their 80s than I am in my 30s. That's not saying much. Our creaky leaders should understand that it is in our best interest as a nation for them to step aside and use their latter-life precocious enthusiasm and energy in the private sector.
Sadly, it seems these elderly public "servants" have an inability to allow national treasures -- themselves -- to stop giving.
Theoretically, it would be nice to allow citizens to vote for anyone they pleased -- young or old. But because we already have a minimum constitutionally mandated age limit to serve in place, why not a maximum age? How about placing it, at the very least, wherever the average life expectancy falls?
Because right now, Washington looks a lot more like Del Boca Vista than it does America.