From the NYT article:
Proponents of the amendment argued that the age limit of 70 for judges, set in the State Constitution, was an anachronism passed just after the Civil War, before the era of antibiotics, heart surgery and hip replacements. People are living longer lives, proponents said, and judges often peak late in their careers.Wouldn't that be a reason not to bother with an age limit back in the 1800s? Judges lingering in office would have been less of a problem back in the days when medical setbacks led more predictably and swiftly to death.
The chief judge of the state's highest court, Jonathan Lippman, said:
"I am disappointed... We were unable to get a consistent message across that people should be judged on their ability to do the job and not on some outdated conceptions of age."What is outdated about thinking that older persons hang onto their jobs too long and fail to open positions to younger persons with new perspectives and experience with life as it is lived today? What is outdated about thinking that judges, cloistered and cosseted by the respect their office commands, lack accurate feedback about how well they are really doing? What is outdated about thinking that the judges, with their sharp and hardworking ghostwriters (AKA "clerks"), are unusually shielded from having their failing competence exposed?