Pennsylvania bill proposes increased retirement ages for state judges

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April 19, 2013

By Nick Katers


Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Pennsylvania Representative Catherine Harper (R) has proposed a bill to change the mandatory retirement age of state judges from 70 years old to 75 years old. Harper advocates House Bill 79 due to changes in life expectancies since the limit was added to the Pennsylvania Constitution in 1968.[1] Harper also believes that the current age limit deters younger candidates from advancing to state judicial positions.[2]

The proposed amendment differs from a proposal in the Pennsylvania State Senate that eliminates mandatory retirement ages for judges. Harper proposes a five-year extension of retirement age as part of a long-term debate about the necessity of mandatory retirements. As a proposed constitutional amendment, the reform does not take effect until two sessions of the Pennsylvania State Legislature and a statewide referendum approve the bill.

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