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‘Grim fun’? Supreme Court justice death calculator offers odds

Posted Jan 15, 2013 7:32 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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There is a 64 percent probability that at least one Supreme Court justice will die in the next four years, according to a new “Supreme Court justice death calculator.”

Slate published the calculator that allows you to click on boxes to calculate the odds of a death of a liberal, a conservative, any individual justice, or any combination of justices. A picture of a scythe pops up when you click on a justice; a click on a gravestone is needed to clear the finding.

The chance of a conservative dying is about 46 percent, and the chance of a liberal dying is about 33 percent, according to the calculator.

The tool is based on average data from the Centers for Disease Control. The article explains that any given result is “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.” The story nonetheless invites the reader to “make some assumptions, for the sake of grim fun.”

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