Source: assembly.state.ny.us

Source: assembly.state.ny.us

New York State Assemblywoman Helene Weinstein is hoping voters will approve a law that extends the required retirement ages of  judges past 70 years old. The Brooklyn Daily Eagle is reporting that Weinstein and other advocates believe that the current law is outdated and doesn’t account for advances made in health care.

The current law requires that appointed New York State judges must retire at 70 years old. They can apply for three two-year extensions that allow them to keep serving until 76 years old as long as they have no pressing mental or physical disabilities. Judges who are elected face no mandatory retirement age.

Brooklyn Supreme Court Judge Barry Kamins expressed his opinion that the law ought to be changed.

“The current requirement that certain judges must retire at 70 and others at 76 is an outdated rule that was created at a time when the life expectancy of the population was much lower than it is today,” Kamins told the Daily Eagle. “We have experienced and enthusiastic judges who are eager to remain on the bench and who could contribute so much to the court system. They should not be forced to retire because of a rule that has no relevancy in the 21st century.”

The Daily Eagle cited statistics that do indeed show that people are living longer and healthier lives:

With advancements in medical technology and an awareness of  diet and exercise, people are living longer lives. A report issued by the World Health Organization estimates that the life expectancy for individuals in high-income countries, such as the United States, is 80 years of age.  United States Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, who retired from the bench at the age of 90, mused to a Washington reporter that he “may have jumped the gun a little bit.”

This past January, Weinstein introduced an amendment called, “Increasing Age Until Which Certain State Judges Can Serve,” which would extend the required retirement age to 80-years-old for Court of Appeals judges. It would also allow state Supreme Court judges five two-year extensions past the age of 70.

Voters will have a chance in the November election to decide whether to extend the retirement age for state judges.

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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

    I think we should suspend age limitations. Stevens was just as competent at 90 as he was at 50. They say wisdom comes with age. Let’s have some wise judges.

    • Supporter of LeftHand Rule

      Come on Annie, let’s make room for somebody else. If Judges can hold onto seats well into their dotage, it’s use, the public , who may suffer.

      • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

        Since I’m getting up in years I’d like to believe that when I am in my seventies my ability to weigh facts will be better than those younger than myself due to the sum of my experiences.

        Judges shouldn’t be young.

        • BrooklynCBR

          Why not? What about on matters of todays day and age? A 70+ yr old judge probably has no idea about the limitations of the iPhone and doesn’t understand the freedoms from unlocking your phone. I rather have a 30 year old judge weigh in on matters like that, or at least someone who’s in par with todays technology, todays way of life, as opposed to having a state of mind still in the 50′s.

          • http://www.flickr.com/photos/lisanne001 Lisanne!

            Are you serious? People who are 70 are not living in the past, their concerns are the same as anyone else. Additionally, all judges rule on matters that are outside their personal experience, law is not based on having a personal relationship to subject matter under consideration.

  • Subway Stinker

    I’d like Helene to retire. She is mainly seen on milk cartons and has done nothing to stop the spread of empty storefronts on Nostrand Avenue, esp between U and X.

  • A. Vandelay

    How about giving them term limits?
    You can serve for 10 years then go off and find real employment.