Raising mandatory retirement age for judges gains traction in New York State

Proposition gaining support from judges and PACs

Age and wisdom generally go hand in hand, so when states require judges to retire at a certain age it serves to derail that almost universal adage. Maybe that’s why there has been a recent movement to lift the retirement requirements.

According to The Wall Street Journal, about 30 states currently enforce mandatory requirement ages for some of their judges. Many of those states have the retirement rules written into their constitutions, requiring considerable work to have them changed.

In New York State for example, where judges are required to lay down their gavels at age 70, overturning the rule would require legislative approval and a public referendum. A new proposition in New York would raise that age to 80.

Proposition 6 will go up for a vote on Nov. 5 and would increase the age that judges could continue working by 10 years. Under the proposition, judges between 70 and 80 would be required to submit to a health certification every 2 years.

The proposal has received support from not only the judges approaching the limit in New York, including chief judge Jonathon Lippman, but also the political action committee “Justice for All.” While the two parties are advocating for the same thing Lippman has no involvement with the PAC.

"I had nothing to do with whatever the name of that group is," Lippman said in an interview with Democrat and Chronicle. "That was formed by lawyers. I have nothing to do with that in any way. My job is to speak out on issues of the administration of justice and I'm not going to hesitate to do that, whether it's to lawyers, the clergy, whatever the group might be."

Lobbying to increase the age of retirement among other things, the Justice for All PAC has reportedly spent $370,000, with much of that going to advertisement.

Who wants to warm the bench at a shuffleboard court when you could be doing it at the courthouse instead?

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Managing Editor

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Chris DiMarco

Chris DiMarco, Managing Editor of InsideCounsel magazine, has a background in multimedia production with previous involvement in projects in which he developed and created content for...

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