University of Denver

States Reconsider Mandatory Retirement Ages for Judges

Former Manager, Quality Judges Initiative

As Bill Raftery covered last month on Gavel to Gavel, legislatures in 17 states are considering whether to increase or eliminate their mandatory retirement age for judges. Mandatory retirement ages for state judges around the country range from 70 to 75. Pennsylvania's supreme court recently agreed to hear a case challenging that state's maximum age of 70 as discriminatory and in violation of the state constitution. The case was brought by six judges. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld Missouri's mandatory retirement age of 70 for judges in 1990 in Gregory v. Ashcroft.