Living Ex-Justices:

Kevan Choset asks this question:

When Justice White died in 2002, there were no living ex-Justices. What was the last year [before then] when that was true?

SteveKaplan (mail):
Based on my possibly spotty research the last time this happened was between April 9, 1899 (The death of Stephen J. Field) and February 23, 1903 (The retirement of George Shiras- who would live until 1924 and have plenty of ex justices to socialize with).
7.7.2005 2:00pm
Eugene Volokh (www):
I think that's right; Kevan Choset reports:
In 1899, Justice Stephen Johnson Field died, living no living ex-Justices until Justice George Shiras, Jr. retired on February 23, 1903. From then on, there was always at least one living ex-Justice, as follows (leaving out the many, many redundancies):

2/23/03-8/2/24 - Shiras

9/18/22-3/22/45 - Clarke

10/3/42-4/9/72 - Byrnes

7/25/65-1/19/90 - Goldberg

9/26/86-6/25/95 - Burger

6/28/93-4/15/02 - White
7.7.2005 2:26pm
Tom R.:
Crunching the data with Python confirms this. Other times it happened was between:

1829-05-17 (J. Jay died) and 1835-01-14 (G. Duvall retired)
1844-03-06 (G. Duvall died) and 1857-09-30 (B. Curtis retired)
1895-08-19 (W. Strong died) and 1897-12-01 (S. Field retired)

And, of course, before 1791-03-05 there were no living retired supreme court justices, because no supreme court justice had yet retired.

The largest number of retired justices at once was 8, from the retirement of J. Harlan in 1971 to his death that same year. For the purposes of this post, "senior service" is retirement.

The data is taken from wikipedia.
7.7.2005 2:41pm