It appears that for the 7th year in a row, an effort to increase the mandatory retirement age of 70 for Virginia’s judges will fail, but similar efforts in other states are showing signs of movement.
A full list of all such effort to eliminate mandatory judicial retirement from 1990-2010 is here.
A list of what states have what mandatory judicial retirement ages is here.
Hawaii: The history of Hawaii’s interest in increasing its judicial retirement age is a complex one. When the Democrat-dominated legislature faced the prospect in 2006 of having a Republican governor appoint new judges to the state’s courts, they swiftly put onto the ballot an effort to raise the retirement age. Numerous political leaders, including the Democrat Attorney General came out against it and the effort failed. In the last several years, however, the effort has been renewed. SB 886 of 2013, approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 29, would increase the age from 70 to 80.
Indiana: SB 124, which would outright eliminate the mandatory retirement age of 75 for appellate judges, was approved by the Senate Judiciary Committee on February 7. Indiana in 2011 eliminated the mandatory retirement ages for its trial courts.
Michigan: SJR 5 of 2013 picks up where SJR 21 of 2012 left off in pushing for an outright elimination of the state’s mandatory judicial retirement age of 70. The 2012 bill, introduced late in that session, was approved by the Senate Judiciary in September 2012. The 2013 version has already re-passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on January 31.
North Carolina: HB 12 would increase the state’s judicial retirement age from 72 to 75 and is currently pending in the House Judiciary A Committee.
New York: The state legislature already approved in 2011 (SB 5827) an effort to increase the mandatory retirement age for the judges of top appellate court from 70 to 80 and to allow judges for the state’s main trial court to be certified for 2-year periods from age 70-80. SB 886 of 2013 is the second passage required for state constitutional amendments. If approved in 2013 or 2014, it would go to the voters on the 2014 ballot.
Pennsylvania: While lawsuits have been filed against the state’s existing mandatory retirement age of 70 as a form of age discrimination, SB 85 of 2013 would eliminate it legislatively. That bill is currently pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee. Update 2/13/13: A House version (HB 79) would up the age from 70 to 75. h/t to Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts for the pointer.
South Carolina: The effort to eliminate the judicial retirement age of 72 (SB 71) is pending in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Virginia: Like prior efforts, SB 740 / SB 762 of 2013 met with initial success and was approved by the full Senate on a 30-10 vote in January. However, the bill was assigned to the House Committee on Courts of Justice, Civil Subcommittee, which killed the bill on a 4-4 tie vote in 2012 killed it again in 2013 on a vote vote.
Washington State: HB 1266 / SB 5046 would allow district court judges only to serve out the term in which they read age 75 (currently they have to resign the end of that year). The House bill was approved by the House Judiciary Committee on February 5. The Senate version was approved by the full Senate 48-0 on January 30.
Wyoming: I’ve noted the efforts here. In short the House has approved a plan (HB 167) to increase the mandatory retirement for supreme court and district court judges from 70 to 75 and imposes a mandatory retirement age for circuit judges at 75 (currently, they have none). This was after Senate leadership balked at the House’s original idea (HJR 1) to simply eliminate the mandatory retirement age.