The retirement age for judges in New York, including those serving on the state's top court, could be raised in the coming years under a constitutional amendment that is advancing in the final week of the legislative session.
The state Senate approved first passage of the amendment earlier this week; lawmakers are expected to conclude work in Albany by Friday.
The current retirement age for judges is by the end of December in the year in which they turn 70, though judges on the Court of Appeals and state Supreme Court can apply to an administrative review board to continue to serve.
The amendment would raise the mandatory retirement age from 70 years old for state judges to 76. The amendment would allow judges at the Court of Appeals, justices of the Supreme Court, judges of the Court of Claims, judges of the County Court, judges of the Surrogate's Court, judges of the Family Court and judges of the Court for the City of New York.
An amendment to the state's constitution must be approved by two separately elected sessions of the Legislature and then goes to voters in a referendum.
The amendment comes after a year in which judicial politics spilled into public view as Democrats in the state Senate rejected Gov. Kathy Hochul's initial nominee to lead New York's top court, the Court of Appeals.
Hochul in Albany on Wednesday attended the investiture of Judge Caitlin Halligan to the court.
"This is a time in our state's history — we'll be judged by what we do from this day forward," she said. "And I'm really very excited about seeing the decisions that are rendered, but also seeing your place in history, all of you. All of the place that you'll have in history."