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NY'ers reject proposal to extend age limits for top judges

November 06, 2013
By Jessica Clary, Kaycia Sailsman and Hannah Nesich

On Tuesday, New York voters refused to pass a proposed constitutional amendment that would allow New York State Supreme Court judges and judges of the Court of Appeals to serve until the age of 80.

Bill number S.886/A.4395, which authorized the ballot proposal, states that "Raising the age that retired judges can serve from 76 to 80 will enable the state judiciary to continue to benefit from the service of many dedicated, experienced and productive judges currently being lost."

The current law, which dates back to 1869, permits New York State judges to work until the age of 70, making them the only state officials forced to retire at a specific age.

Judges are currently able to apply for up to three additional two-year terms through a certification test that ensures they are physically and mentally competent.

One of the proposal's top proponents is Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who said the current age limits are outdated.

According to the National Center for State Courts, the age limit for most states is 70, with the exception of Vermont, which allows judges to hold office until the age of 90.

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