Ohio House approves increase for mandatory judiciary retirement: If 70 is the new 65, is 75 the new 70?

A tip from a Gavel to Gavel reader.

A recent news article suggested that, with respect to retirement, “70 is the new 65.” For judicial retirement, however, Ohio’s House is joining several other states in considering if 75 is the new 70.

For at least the last three years the Ohio legislature has grappled with proposals to increase or eliminate the state’s constitutional mandatory judicial retirement age of 70.

No person shall be elected or appointed to any judicial office if on or before the day when he shall assume the office and enter upon the discharge of its duties he shall have attained the age of seventy years.

An outright removal (HJR 16 of 2010) went nowhere, as did a Senate effort (SJR 10 of 2010) to increase the retirement age from 70 to 75. HJR 9 of 2009, also a 70-to-75 increase, fared better, making it out of the House Judiciary Committee at almost the last minute in December 2010, but it died when the legislature adjourned.

Picking up where that effort left off, HJR 1 of 2011 passed the House on April 12. The change in age could have a big impact in the Buckeye State: The Ohio Supreme Court says nearly 40 percent of judges in Ohio are age 60 or older. (hat tip, WKSU).

Arizona came close to increasing its age from 70 to 75 in 2010 (SCR 1040) but despite approval by the full Senate it died on the House floor. Similarly, Alabama’s HB 573 of 2010 made it through House but died on the Senate floor.

In 2011, Alabama’s bill is back, this time as senate constitutional amendment (SB 26) while New Jersey has a 70-to-75 constitutional amendment/statute combo pending (ACR 70 and AB 611).