Federal judges do not have a mandatory retirement age, yet Arizona and 32 other states require all state judges to vacate their positions upon turning age 70. Should Arizona’s judges be forced to retire at age 70? Might this be considered age discrimination, or is it a necessary protection for the people?

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Almost all states require their judges to retire at the age of 70, 72, 74, or 75. The only exception to this is Vermont. In Vermont, judges can serve until the age of 90. In Maryland, there is currently a bill to change the retirement age from 70 to 73. Federal judges have no retirement age.

There is not much logic in this hodgepodge of retirement ages. People in other professions typically retire at much younger ages. Are professionals in other industries being discriminated against because they are usually forced to retire earlier, often when they still have many productive years left?

In America, state judges are often elected. The electoral process turns them into politicians, and politicians are primarily concerned with remaining in office.

Why not have a minimum age for judges and limit them to only one term? In Germany, top judges are appointed for nonrenewable twelve-year terms. In the United States, this could apply to state judges, federal judges, and Supreme Court judges. A system like this would be more coherent than the unwieldy status quo with its jumble of retirement ages and lifetime appointments.

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