According to Article V, Section 17 of the Constitution of the State of Florida, “all justices and judges shall automatically retire at age 70.” However, the Constitution Revision Commission's (CRC) Judicial Committee recently voted unanimously to raise the retirement age to 75. This commission has the ability to vote and add ballot initiatives/measures to future ballots for constituents to vote on. By changing the retirement age without removing the grace period, judges and justices have the ability to stay on the bench even later than the age of 75. There have been proposals in the past to raise the retirement age; however, they have never reached the commission to be voted on.
“At 75, certainly some would say, that’s the new 55,” said Bill Schifino, past president of the Florida Bar. Because people are living longer than they did in 1957, the year Article V, Section 17 became effective, it is only natural the retirement age reflects that fact. The proposed amendment to raise the retirement age will become effective in 2019. Raising the retirement age has always been more controversial than other initiatives. With people living longer, many people see the need to raise the retirement age of the standing judges and justices. On the other hand, opponents say that raising the retirement age would limit the American system of checks and balances. They believe that raising the retirement age would limit the ability for new voices to be heard. Do you think the retirement age of judges and justices should be raised?