Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Vote 'No'

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Vote 'No'

Article excerpt

Voters on Tuesday will be asked whether to raise the judicial retirement age from 70 to 75. I ask voters to vote "No."

While we may lose some good judges by keeping the current retirement age, increasing the retirement age will retain more judges who are past their mental prime. The 1968 Pennsylvania Constitutional Convention recommended the current retirement age because it prevented harm from senile judges and eliminated the "unpleasant task" of removing judges.

The problem is that no one has the courage to remove a senile judge from the bench. As a trial lawyer for almost 30 years, I have represented clients in more than 20 counties. I have had personal experience with multiple senile judges in several counties: an Allegheny County judge who slept on the bench to the point where he could not be woken and caused scores of appeals due to his clear legal errors; an Allegheny County judge whose senility permitted his staff to take favors for rigging cases (staff members were charged criminally); judges who no longer understood the rules of court; and some who were humorously feeble but unable to provide justice to those appearing before them. …

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