zokuga (1452025) writes "When the Constitution was ratified in 1789, the average American lived to be 40. The framers didn't express much worry about the possibility of senile judges when they granted life tenure to federal judges. Today, according to a report by the investigative news site ProPublica, 12% of the nation's 1,200 sitting federal judges are 80-years or older.
The aging bench has raised questions of whether senior judges can grasp the cultural and technological shifts that happen during their decades of service, and whether their minds are fit in the first place. ProPublica recounts an anecdote of a federal judge who didn't understand e-mail and asked his lawyers, "It pops up in a machine in some administrative office, and is somebody there with a duty to take it around and give it to whoever it's named to?" It was unclear to the lawyers present, ProPublica reports, whether the judge (who's office came with a mimeograph machine when he began his term) was out of touch with technology or had a defective memory, as his previous most famous case involved a Silicon Valley banker and a single e-mail as the decisive evidence."
Link to Original Source