Not so suddenly, there’s an elderly quartet at the Supreme Court. Ruth Bader Ginsburg just turned eighty-one, and she’s followed closely in age by Antonin Scalia, seventy-eight; Anthony Kennedy, seventy-seven; and Stephen Breyer, seventy-five. None of these Justices has signalled a desire to leave the Court anytime soon, but time catches up with everyone. …

Jane Kelly, age forty-nine, Eighth Circuit. A 1991 graduate of Harvard Law School, i.e., Obama’s class, Kelly has an unusual and welcome background for a Supreme Court Justice. She’s a career public defender who has practiced almost entirely in Iowa. Most important for confirmation purposes, she has an enthusiastic fan in Charles Grassley, the Iowa Republican who may well be chairman of the Judiciary Committee if the G.O.P. takes control. Last year, she was confirmed 96–0 for her seat on the Eighth Circuit.

Patricia Ann Millett, age fifty, D.C. Circuit. A former lawyer in the Solicitor General’s office with thirty-two Supreme Court arguments to her credit, Millett was the least controversial of the three judges recently confirmed, thanks to the nuclear option, for the D.C. Circuit. The wife of a Navy reservist, Millett has been an advocate for military families, which is a confirmation-friendly activity.