Hawaii Mandatory Retirement Age for Justices and Judges, Amendment 3 (2014)

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Mandatory Retirement Age for Justices and Judges, SB 886
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Type:Constitutional amendment
Constitution:Hawaii Constitution
Referred by:Hawaii Legislature
Topic:State judiciary
Status:On the ballot

The Hawaii Mandatory Retirement Age for Justices and Judges, SB 886 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.[1]

The amendment was sponsored in the Hawaii Legislature by State Senator Clayton Hee (D-23) as Senate Bill 886.[1]

Text of the measure

Ballot title

The text that will appear on the ballot is as follows:[1]

Shall the mandatory retirement age for all state court justices and judges be increased from seventy to eighty years of age?[2]

Constitutional changes

See also: Article VI, Hawaii Constitution

The measure amends Section 3 of Article VI of the Hawaii Constitution:[3]

Appointment of Justices and Judges

Section 3. The governor, with the consent of the senate, shall fill a vacancy in the office of the chief justice, supreme court, intermediate appellate court and circuit courts, by appointing a person from a list of not less than four, and not more than six, nominees for the vacancy, presented to the governor by the judicial selection commission.

If the governor fails to make any appointment within thirty days of presentation, or within ten days of the senate's rejection of any previous appointment, the appointment shall be made by the judicial selection commission from the list with the consent of the senate. If the senate fails to reject any appointment within thirty days thereof, it shall be deemed to have given its consent to such appointment. If the senate shall reject any appointment, the governor shall make another appointment from the list within ten days thereof. The same appointment and consent procedure shall be followed until a valid appointment has been made, or failing this, the commission shall make the appointment from the list, without senate consent.

The chief justice, with the consent of the senate, shall fill a vacancy in the district courts by appointing a person from a list of not less than six nominees for the vacancy presented by the judicial selection commission. If the chief justice fails to make the appointment within thirty days of presentation, or within ten days of the senate's rejection of any previous appointment, the appointment shall be made by the judicial selection commission from the list with the consent of the senate. The senate shall hold a public hearing and vote on each appointment within thirty days of any appointment. If the senate fails to do so, the nomination shall be returned to the commission and the commission shall make the appointment from the list without senate consent. The chief justice shall appoint per diem district court judges as provided by law.

Qualifications for Appointment
Justices and judges shall be residents and citizens of the State and of the United States, and licensed to practice law by the supreme court. A justice of the supreme court, a judge of the intermediate appellate court and a judge of the circuit court shall have been so licensed for a period of not less than ten years preceding nomination. A judge of the district court shall have been so licensed for a period of not less than five years preceding nomination.

No justice or judge shall, during the term of office, engage in the practice of law, or run for or hold any other office or position of profit under the United States, the State or its political subdivisions.

Tenure; Retirement
The term of office of justices and judges of the supreme court, intermediate appellate court and circuit courts shall be ten years. Judges of district courts shall hold office for the periods as provided by law. At least six months prior to the expiration of a justice's or judge's term of office, every justice and judge shall petition the judicial selection commission to be retained in office or shall inform the commission of an intention to retire. If the judicial selection commission determines that the justice or judge should be retained in office, the commission shall renew the term of office of the justice or judge for the period provided by this section or by law.

Justices and judges shall be retired upon attaining the age of seventy eighty years. They shall be included in any retirement law of the State.[2]


Support

The measure was introduced to the legislature by State Senator Clayton Hee (D-23).[1]

Supporters

Arguments

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  • Gov. Abercromibe 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.”[4]

Opposition

State Representative Denny Coffman (D-5) was the sole legislator to vote against SB 886.[1]

Path to the ballot

See also: Amending the Hawaii Constitution

State Senator Clayton Hee (D-23) introduced a bill into the legislature to alter the constitution and put the 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.[5]

Senate vote

February 14, 2013 Senate vote

Hawaii SB 886 Senate Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 22 100.00%
No00.00%

House vote

April 4, 2013 House vote

Hawaii SB 886 House Vote
ResultVotesPercentage
Approveda Yes 50 98.04%
No11.96%

See also

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External links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 Hawaii State Legislature, "Senate Bill No. 886," accessed June 25, 2014
  2. 2.0 2.1 Note: This text is quoted verbatim from the original source. Any inconsistencies are attributed to the original source.
  3. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named language
  4. 4.0 4.1 Honolulu Civil Beat, "Abercrombie: Change Retirement Age for Judges," June 5, 2012
  5. Hawaii State Legislature, "SB886," accessed January 16, 2014

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