Massachusetts constitutional convention meets today, considers 7-year judicial terms

Today marks the start of the latest Massachusetts constitutional convention. Required to meet every legislative session, the convention functions more or less as a joint session of the House and Senate sitting for the sole purpose of considering constitutional amendments.

On the agenda this year is Proposal 12, which would change the state’s current practice of having judges serve until age 70. Instead, judges would be subject to reconfirmation every 7 years in much the same way as their initial confirmation, namely by the state’s elected Executive Council. The chief proponent, while specifically stating he opposes elected judges (h/t Boston Globe) argues that judges are too lenient against criminals in the state and that reconfirmation would address that, while at the same time saying “This is by no means an attack on judges.”

Proposal 12 is identical to House Bill 1283 which had been rejected by the Joint Committee on the Judiciary previously this year.

The convention meets at 1 PM Eastern today. Video coverage will be available here.

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