Groups Back Amendment to Raise Retirement Age
Two lawyers' groups have endorsed the proposed constitutional amendment to allow some state judges in New York to remain on the bench until age 80. The New York County Lawyers' Association and the state Academy of Trial Lawyers said they both support the referendum that will appear as Proposition Six on the Nov. 5 ballot. It would extend from 76 to 80 the retirement age for elected Supreme Court justices if they meet the physical and mental requirements of the recertification process. The amendment also extends the mandatory retirement age for Court of Appeals judges to 80 from 70.
"NYCLA has supported raising the retirement age for New York state judges for over 14 years, going back to 1999 when we recommended an expansion of the certification system," president Barbara Moses said. "It doesn't make sense to lose talented judges to premature retirement based on a provision enacted 144 years ago."
Joseph Bavaro, president of the Academy of Trial Lawyers, said the average life expectancy of Americans was much less in 1869 than it is today. "Judges are being forced off the bench at a time when they are at the peak of their productivity and intellectual powers," Bavaro said.
Both groups said they would urge their members to vote for the proposed amendment and urge others to do so.