Effort to remove mandatory retirement age for Louisiana judges fails to get 2/3rds majority in House

What looked to be a fairly straight forward effort in Louisiana to repeal the state’s mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges (or specifically the end of the term in which they turn 70) failed earlier today when it could not get the 2/3rds vote of the House required.

SB 5 had until today had a fairly smooth sail through the legislature; it passed the Senate 33-2 in early May, 15-2 in the House Judiciary Committee, and 9-0 in the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee.

That momentum however failed to clinch the 2/3rds of the 105 member House (i.e. 70) members needed for passage with only 63 in favor and 33 against.

At least two floor amendments were offered up, one to increase the mandatory retirement age from 70 to 76 was defeated. The other, to put the item on the October 2013 ballot rather than the November 2014 ballot, was also rejected.

This may not be the end; the last change to judicial retirement age in Louisiana took place in 2003. The first proposal, an increase from 70 to 75 (HB 86) failed to get the 2/3rds in that session’s House (68 to 22), but that failure paved the way for HB 19, a constitutional amendment later approved by voters, that allowed judges to serve out the term in which they turned 70.