Last Wednesday's Final Jeopardy! category was "People in Government." The clue was (and this is verbatim):
Now in his job over 17 years, he's the longest-serving pres. appointee other than Supreme Court members
(Alex Trebek read "pres." as "presidential.") To see the "correct" response, which one contestant successfully provided, click below:
Unfortunately, this is gravely incorrect. Of course the President appoints all federal judges, not just Supreme Court Justices. A quick search turned up 138 sitting federal judges (not including Supreme Court members) who were appointed more than 17 years ago.
My questions (to which I don't know the answers) are as follows:
Who is the longest-serving currently sitting federal judge?
Can we be confident that this person is the longest-serving presidential appointee? If not, who is? Is there a reasonably compact list of all people (or positions) that are appointed by the President?
[While Jeopardy! has been known to bring back losing contestants because of an inaccurate clue, it happens that Final Jeopardy! did not matter in this game because the winner had more than twice the money of his nearest competitor. I emailed Jeopardy! about the mistake on Friday and have yet to hear back.]