Pa. high court grapples with judge retirement age

HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — The Pennsylvania Supreme Court is considering whether to invalidate a portion of the state constitution that requires judges to retire by the end of the year once they turn 70.

The justices heard argument Wednesday in two cases in which judges say the constitutional provision conflicts with another one that prevents age discrimination. The case is of particular interest to the justices, as three of them are nearing age 70.

Pennsylvania judges who hit age 70 can still hear cases as senior judges.

A lawyer for Gov. Tom Corbett, who is defending the mandatory retirement age, says he’s unaware of any court in the United States ever ruling that one part of a constitution conflicts with another.

Similar legal challenges are also pending in federal court and state Commonwealth Court.

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