22 bills to increase or eliminate mandatory judicial retirement ages: moving in IN, NJ, OR, PA, VA; killed in UT & WY

The wave of interest in increasing or eliminating the mandatory retirement ages for judges continues apace in the state legislatures. Of the seven states that have voted on these proposals:

  • 1 state (Virginia) has passed an increase and is awaiting action by the governor
  • 2 states (Indiana, Pennsylvania) have seen at least one chamber pass the proposal
  • 2 states (New Jersey, Oregon) have seen committee approval
  • 2 states (Utah and Wyoming) saw their efforts killed

Details below the fold.

Legislation Provisions Status
Alabama HB 15 (Constitutional Amendment) Increase maximum age for election or appointment to judicial office to 75 years. In House Judiciary Committee.
Alabama SB 15 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75. In Senate Finance Committee.
Arkansas HB 1202 Provides judges may serve in office until 72 (currently 70) without forfeiting retirement benefits. In Joint Public Retirement Committee.
Indiana SB 12 Requires justices of the supreme court and judges of the court of appeals to retire at 80 years of age (currently must retire at 75). Approved by full Senate 1/29/15.
Maryland HB 548 (Constitutional Amendment) Ends elections for Circuit Court judges and eliminates their mandatory retirement age. Provides judges to be appointed by Governor, confirmed by Senate, and subject to yes/no retention elections. In House Judiciary Committee.
Minnesota HB 1332 Allows judge to serve out term in which reaches 70 (currently can only serve to end of month). In House Public Safety and Crime Prevention Policy and Finance Committee.
Minnesota SB 1258 Allows judge to serve out term in which reaches 70 (currently can only serve to end of month). In Senate Judiciary Committee
New Jersey ACR 129 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75. Approved by Pension and Health Benefits Commission 6/6/14. Carried over into 2015 session.
New Jersey ACR 150 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 72. In Assembly Judiciary Committee. Carried over into 2015 session.
New Jersey ACR 186 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory retirement age for Supreme Court and Superior Court from 70 to 75. AMENDED: Increase applies to Superior Court only. Approved as amended by Assembly Judiciary Committee 9/22/14. Approved by Pension and Health Benefits Commission 1/30/15.  Carried over into 2015 session.
New Jersey SCR 148 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory retirement age for Superior Court only from 70 to 75. In Senate Judiciary Committee. Carried over into 2015 session.
North Carolina HB 50 Allows judges to serve until the *end of the year* they reach 72 (currently may serve until *end of the month*). In House Pensions and Retirement Committee.
Oregon SJR 4 (Constitutional Amendment) Repeals provision allowing for the establishment of a mandatory retirement age. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/20/2015.
Pennsylvania SB 337 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75. (Second adoption. Approved by 2013/2014 session). In Senate Judiciary Committee
Pennsylvania HB 90 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75. (Second adoption. Approved by 2013/2014 session). Approved by full House 2/10/15. Approved by Senate Judiciary Committee 2/17/15.
Pennsylvania SB 207 (Constitutional Amendment) Increases mandatory retirement age for judges from 70 to 75. (Second adoption. Approved by 2013/2014 session). In Senate Judiciary Committee
South Carolina SB 316 Removes age limit above which a judge cannot join the judicial retirement system. Removes requirement that members of judicial retirement system retire by end of calendar year they turn 72. Removes mandatory retirement age for magistrates. In Senate Finance Committee.
Utah HB 137 ORIGINAL: Repeals the mandatory judicial retirement age. AMENDED: Increases mandatory retirement age from 75 to 80. Rejected by full House 2/27/2015.
Virginia HB 1984 AS AMENDED: Increases the mandatory retirement age of judges from 70 to 73. Conference Committee Report agreed to by House and Senate 2/27/2015. To Governor for approval.
Virginia SB 1196 Incorporated into HB 1984.
Virginia SB 1324 Incorporated into SB 1196.
Wyoming HJR 5 (Constitutional Amendment) ORIGINAL: Removes mandatory judicial retirement age of 70. AS AMENDED: Increases mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75. Approved by full House 1/26/15. Rejected by Senate Appropriations Committee 2/23/15.

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