Hawaii Mandatory Retirement Age for Justices and Judges, Amendment 3 (2014)
The Hawaii Mandatory Retirement Age for Justices and Judges, Amendment 3 is on the November 4, 2014 ballot in Hawaii as a legislatively-referred constitutional amendment. The measure, upon voter approval, would increase the mandatory age of retirement for judges and justices from 70 to 80.
In Hawaii, an amendment must win not just a majority of all votes cast on that particular proposal, but a majority of the vote of everyone voting in that election. This is known as a double majority.
Text of the measure
The text that will appear on the ballot is as follows:
|“||Shall the mandatory retirement age for all state court justices and judges be increased from seventy to eighty years of age?||”|
- See also: Article VI, Hawaii Constitution
|Appointment of Justices and Judges|
Section 3. ...
Justices and judges shall be retired upon attaining the age of
- League of Women Voters of Hawaii
- ILWU — International Longshore and Warehouse Union, Local 142
- Gov. Abercrombie said, "As a matter of fact, [judicial retirement age is] a dead end. It deprives us of the opportunity to take full advantage of those who have had a career that has given them some depth of perception, of analysis and capacity that actually deprives us of legal minds and administrative capacity that would be most welcome on the Supreme Court.”
- Attorney General David M. Louie stated, “People now live longer, healthier, and more productive lives and are contributing to their community and their jobs well past the age of seventy. In the local legal community, some of the finest minds and best attorneys are older than seventy.”
- Jean Aoki of the League of Women Voters of Hawaii stated, “With the average life span of human beings increasing, the mandatory retirement age of 70 years has deprived our state of the continued services of many leaders who were really at their peak, capable of many more years in their respective positions.”
- Rep. Denny Coffman (D-5)
- Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu
The Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu issued a statement against SB 886. The department wrote:
|“||While the Department of the Prosecuting Attomey of the City and County of Honolulu supports judges and justices who are knowledgeable of the law and respectful to attomeys, staff, and witnesses pursuant to the Hawaii Revised Code of Judicial Conduct, the department notes that the mandatory retirement ofjudges andjustices who reach the age of 70 provides opportunity for judicial nominees who have a fresh approach in analyzing the laws and a strong commitment to treating all participants in the court in a professional manner. Moreover, the mandatory retirement of age 70 for justices andjudges is sometimes our only opportunity for change.||”|
—Department of the Prosecuting Attorney of the City and County of Honolulu, 
Path to the ballot
- See also: Amending the Hawaii Constitution
State Senator Clayton Hee (D-23) introduced a bill, known as Senate Bill 886, into the legislature to alter the constitution and put a measure before voters on January 18, 2013. The bill was approved through a two-thirds vote in both legislative chambers. SB 886 was approved by the Hawaii Senate on February 14, 2013. The amendment was approved by the Hawaii House of Representatives on April 4, 2013.
February 14, 2013 Senate vote
|Hawaii SB 886 Senate Vote|
April 4, 2013 House vote
|Hawaii SB 886 House Vote|
- Hawaii State Legislature, "Senate Bill No. 886," accessed June 25, 2014
- Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
- Honolulu Civil Beat, "Abercrombie: Change Retirement Age for Judges," June 5, 2012
- Hawaii Legislature, "SB 886 Judicial Testimony on January 29, 2013," accessed August 13, 2014
- Hawaii Legislature, "SB 886 Late Judicial Testimony on January 29, 2013," accessed August 13, 2014
- Hawaii Legislature, "SB 886 Finance Committee on March 27, 2013," accessed August 13, 2014
- Hawaii State Legislature, "SB886," accessed January 16, 2014
State of Hawaii
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