Louisiana: Unanimous House committee approves repeal of mandatory judicial retirement age, but what will the full House do?

The effort to repeal Louisiana’s mandatory judicial retirement age was approved by the House Judiciary Committee earlier this week on a 12-0 vote. HB 96 would put a constitutional amendment on the November 2014 ballot that would delete the existing mandatory judicial retirement provisions. HB 96 is effectively identical to SB 11 which was approved unanimously by the Louisiana Senate on April 1; the only difference in the two being the ballot language:

SB 11 ballot language: Do you support an amendment to remove provisions establishing seventy years of age as the age beyond which judges shall not remain in office?

HB 96 ballot language: Do you support an amendment to remove the constitutional requirement that a judge retire upon attaining the age of seventy, or if his seventieth birthday occurs during his term, that he retire upon completion of that term?

HB 96’s next stop is the House Civil Law and Procedure Committee. A version of the bill was approved unanimously by that committee last year. Assuming a similar approval the bill goes to the full House, which last year was unable to come up with the 2/3rds needed for passage.

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