State Supreme Court justices who reach the mandatory retirement age of 70 will again be able to re-apply for their jobs and continue on the bench, the state's top judge on Wednesday said. 

The announcement by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore will allow New York to retain 46 judges who would be forced to retire due to their age and denied certification to remain in office. DiFiore pointed to a provision in the state budget that funded the positions for the judges. 

The development was cheered by the New York State Bar Association, which called the decision "welcome news."

"The association expressed its concerns Saturday that older justices were not allowed to remain on the bench, and they were relayed to top court officials," said the group's president, Scott Karson. "The announcement today by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore that this decision has been reversed will help our justice system run more smoothly and improve access to justice for lawyers and litigants.”