October 25, 2011

Rep. Al Landis: HJR 1 will allow experienced, capable judges to remain on the bench

At a time when we need capable, skilled leadership in government more than ever, the Legislature recently passed a resolution to ask Ohio voters whether the mandatory age of retirement for judges should be changed from 70 to 75. While out in the district, I have been asked by several constituents why I supported House Joint Resolution 1 and why this change is necessary.

A few individuals have expressed concern that by allowing judges to serve past the age of 70, we would prevent “new blood” from joining Ohio’s judicial benches and providing a fresh perspective to the law. However, there are no prohibitions contained in House Joint Resolution 1 that will prevent a younger candidate from running for any judicial position in the state.

They will have the opportunity, just like any candidate for elected office, to show Ohio’s voters why they are the better candidate than perhaps a more seasoned judge. The right to run for a judicial office is not taken away by the raising of Ohio’s judicial age of retirement.

Changing the age of retirement does not guarantee that a judge will automatically continue his or her career, as Ohio voters will have the final say whether a judge deserves another term or not.

I supported HJR 1 in the House because with people living longer lives and often working into their 70s, updating Ohio’s law regarding judges is a common-sense proposal.

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