Three states voted Tuesday on increases to mandatory judicial retirement: effort dies 49-21 in Arkansas House when 28 members fail to vote; amended versions advance in AL & MD

The efforts to increase mandatory judicial retirement ages have seen a great deal of activity in the last 24 hours.

  • Alabama’s House approved 64-35 with 1 abstention a plan to increase their age from 70 to 72 after members objected to the original proposed increase to 75. The Alabama provision is not a hard and fast retirement age; instead it addresses the maximum age a judge can be in order to be elected or appointed to a judgeship.
  • Maryland’s Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee effectively had the same idea as their Alabama House counterparts, reducing a planned increase in the mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75 down to 73 instead. The amended plan passed on a 7-3 vote.
  • 28 Arkansas House members left the floor or failed to vote and 2 voted “present” when that state’s effort to increase the retirement age from 70 to 72 came up for a vote. As a result, despite receiving a 49 yes vs. 21 no vote, the bill failed under a provision of the Arkansas constitution that requires a majority of the entire body (51/100) to approve a bill.

Details of all increase efforts below the fold.

Legislation Provisions Status
Alabama HB 15 (Constitutional Amendment) ORIGINAL: Increase maximum age for election or appointment to judicial office to 75 years. AS AMENDED: Increase to 72. Approved by full House 3/17/15.
Alabama SB 15 (Constitutional Amendment) Increase maximum age for election or appointment to judicial office to 75 years. In Senate Finance Committee.
Arkansas HB 1202 Provides judges may serve in office until 72 (currently 70) without forfeiting retirement benefits. Approved by Joint Public Retirement Committee 3/16/15. Rejected 49-21-28 not voting-2 voting present (51 yeas required) by full House 3/17/15.
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 SB 847 (Constitutional Amendment) ORIGINAL: Increases mandatory judicial retirement age from 70 to 75. AMENDED: Increases to 73. Approved as amended by Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee 3/17/15.
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 Increases mandatory retirement age from end of *month* turns 72 to end of *year* turns 72. In House Pensions and Retirement Committee.
North Carolina HB 205 Increases mandatory retirement age from end of month turns 72 to end of year turns 75. In House Judiciary IV Committee
North Carolina HB 214 Increases mandatory retirement age from end of month turns 72 to end of month turns 75. In House Rules 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 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
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
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 on 32-41 vote 2/27/2015.
Virginia HB 1984 AS AMENDED: Increases the mandatory retirement age of judges from 70 to 73. Applies to all appellate judges effective July 1, 2015. Applies to trial judges elected or appointed after July 1, 2015. 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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