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RETIREMENT WILL DROP JUSTICES' AVERAGE AGE

Thurgood Marshall's retirement from the Supreme Court inevitably will reduce the average age of the justices.

Marshall, 82, is one of the court's two octogenarians. Justice Harry A. Blackmun also is 82.Justice Byron R. White is 74, and Justice John Paul Stevens 71.

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist is 66; Justice Sandra Day O'Connor 61; Justice Antonin Scalia 55; Justice Anthony M. Kennedy 54; and Justice David H. Souter 51.

With Marshall, the average age on the court is 66. Without him, the average age would be 641/2, and may drop lower depending on the age of the person appointed to replace him.