Authorizes retired supreme court justices to serve as justice of supreme court until age 80; provides that judges of the court of appeals need not retire until the end of the year in which they turn age 80; prohibits the appointment of any person over age 70 to the court of appeals.
Ayes (61): Adams, Addabbo, Alesi, Ball, Bonacic, Breslin, Carlucci, DeFrancisco, Diaz, Dilan, Duane, Espaillat, Farley, Flanagan, Fuschillo, Gallivan, Gianaris, Golden, Griffo, Grisanti, Hannon, Hassell-Thomps, Huntley, Johnson, Kennedy, Klein, Krueger, Kruger, Lanza, Larkin, LaValle, Libous, Little, Marcellino, Martins, Maziarz, McDonald, Montgomery, Nozzolio, O'Mara, Oppenheimer, Parker, Peralta, Perkins, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Robach, Saland, Sampson, Savino, Serrano, Seward, Skelos, Smith, Squadron, Stavisky, Stewart-Cousin, Valesky, Young, Zeldin
Nays (1): Avella
TITLE OF BILL: CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to section 2 of article 6 of the constitution, in relation to persons appointed to the court of appeals, and proposing an amendment to section 25 of article 6 of the constitution, in relation to service by retired justices and requiring judges of the court of appeals to retire at age 80
PURPOSE OF BILL: To raise from 76 to 80 the maximum age that retired judges may be certified to continue to serve, and to raise the retirement age for judges of the court of appeals.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS OF BILL: Amends Article 6, §2 and 25(b) of the State Constitution to increase the maximum age for which a judge, justice or retired justice can serve.
JUSTIFICATION: The State Constitution requires judges to retire at the end of the calendar year in which they turn 70. It also authorizes judges to be certified to continue to serve up to three times in two year increments, until age 76. The Certification must find that that his or her services are necessary to expedite the business of the Court, and that he or she is physically and mentally competent to fully perform the duties of the office.
This constitutional amendment would raise the age through which retired judges can continue to serve from 76 to 80, allowing the State to retain experienced and able judges who are willing to work.
In addition, this measure would change the retirement age for judges of the Court of Appeals from 70 to 80, provided that no judge could be appointed to the Court of Appeals after they have reached the last day of December of the year in which they turn 70, consistent with the existing constitutional provision.
In 1999, The Office of Court Administration's Task Force on Mandatory Retirement of Judges concluded that "it is in the best interests of the judiciary and the people of the State of New York to amend the laws governing mandatory retirement of judges." The two recommendations made in that, report - creation of a "senior status" and expansion of the certification process to judges not covered by it - were not acted upon.
This measure takes a different approach - amending the Constitution to increase the age until which judges can be certified from 76 to 80. Raising the age that retired judges can serve from 76 to 80 will enable the state judiciary to continue to benefit from the service of many dedicated, experienced and productive judges currently being lost.
In addition, this bill provides that Court of Appeals judges would be able to serve out the end of their fourteen years terms without
being required to retire at age 70, although appointment past the age of 70 would not be possible.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None anticipated.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This is a constitutional amendment requiring passage by two successive legislatures and approval by the voters.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 5827 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE June 19, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. BONACIC -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Rules CONCURRENT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND ASSEMBLY proposing an amendment to section 2 of article 6 of the constitution, in relation to persons appointed to the court of appeals, and proposing an amendment to section 25 of article 6 of the constitution, in relation to service by retired justices and requiring judges of the court of appeals to retire at age 80 Section 1. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That subdivision e of section 2 of article 6 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: e. The governor shall appoint, with the advice and consent of the senate, from among those recommended by the judicial nominating commis- sion, a person to fill the office of chief judge or associate judge, as the case may be, whenever a vacancy occurs in the court of appeals; provided, however, that no person may be appointed a judge of the court of appeals unless such person is a resident of the state [and], has been admitted to the practice of law in this state for at least ten years AND WHO HAS NOT REACHED THE LAST DAY OF DECEMBER IN THE YEAR IN WHICH HE OR SHE REACHES THE AGE OF SEVENTY. The governor shall transmit to the senate the written report of the commission on judicial nomination relating to the nominee. S 2. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That subdivision b of section 25 of article 6 of the constitution be amended to read as follows: b. Each [judge of the court of appeals,] justice of the supreme court, judge of the court of claims, judge of the county court, judge of the surrogate's court, judge of the family court, judge of a court for the city of New York established pursuant to section fifteen of this article and judge of the district court shall retire on the last day of December in the year in which he or she reaches the age of seventy. EACH JUDGE OF THE COURT OF APPEALS SHALL RETIRE ON THE LAST DAY OF DECEMBER IN THE YEAR IN WHICH HE OR SHE REACHES THE AGE OF EIGHTY. Each [such] former EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD89023-02-1 S. 5827 2 [judge of the court of appeals and] justice of the supreme court may thereafter perform the duties of a justice of the supreme court, with power to hear and determine actions and proceedings, provided, however, that it shall be certificated in the manner provided by law that the services of such [judge or] justice are necessary to expedite the busi- ness of the court and that he or she is mentally and physically able and competent to perform the full duties of such office. Any such certif- ication shall be valid for a term of two years and may be extended as provided by law for additional terms of two years. A [retired judge or] justice shall serve no longer than until the last day of December in the year in which he or she reaches the age of [seventy-six] EIGHTY. A retired judge or justice shall be subject to assignment by the appellate division of the supreme court of the judicial department of his or her residence. Any retired justice of the supreme court who had been desig- nated to and served as a justice of any appellate division immediately preceding his or her reaching the age of seventy shall be eligible for designation by the governor as a temporary or additional justice of the appellate division. A retired judge or justice shall not be counted in determining the number of justices in a judicial district for purposes of subdivision d of section six of this article. S 3. RESOLVED (if the Assembly concur), That the foregoing be referred to the first regular legislative session convening after the next succeeding general election of members of the assembly, and, in conform- ity with section 1 of article 19 of the constitution, be published for 3 months previous to the time of such election.