Bill Would Raise Age Limit For Supreme, Appeals Court Judges

Feb 2, 2015

One argument for the 75 retirement age is that it helps clear a logjam for younger attorneys to join the bench.
Credit Joe Gratz / https://www.flickr.com/photos/joegratz/

Justices on Indiana’s Supreme Court and its Court of Appeals judges will get the chance to sit on the bench longer under a bill headed for the state House of Representatives.

The Indiana Constitution requires judges on the Supreme and Appeals courts to retire by an age set by the General Assembly. Current law sets the age at 75.

The bill from Senator Jim Buck, R-Kokomo, would raise the age to 80. That same bill failed in the Senate last year by a 24-24 vote.

This year it squeaked by with a 27-20 margin.

One argument for the 75 retirement age is that it helps clear a logjam for younger attorneys to join the bench.

And Buck says he’s not against term limits, but he doesn’t think those limits should be based on age.

“To me, it’s an insult to the intellect to those that sat on the bench and do a marvelous job for the residents and those that come before the bench,” Buck says.

The bill would apply to current judges after they are reaffirmed for a new term.

That means some currently on the bench, including former Chief Justice Brent Dickson, would still have to retire at 75.