June 28, 2013
The bid to overturn Pennsylvania's mandatory retirement age for judges may look like a personnel dispute among government employees. But the judges pressing the challenge have argued that nothing less than basic human rights is at stake. Last week, the state Supreme Court unanimously disagreed. Responding to the judges' invocation of the Pennsylvania Constitution's protection of fundamental liberties, Justice Thomas G. Saylor wrote drily, "we do not believe that the charter's framers regarded an immutable ability to continue in public service as a commissioned judge beyond 70 years of age as being within the scope of the inherent rights of mankind.
June 24, 2013 |
Arthur R. Tilson thoroughly enjoys being a Montgomery County judge. He likes figuring out a tough legal question, helping negotiate a settlement, dealing with lawyers. It's satisfying work, he said, a bit like solving a complicated crossword puzzle. But Tilson, a Common Pleas Court judge since 2001, will be out of a job at the end of the year simply because he is now 70, the mandatory retirement age for state court judges in Pennsylvania. And that, he believes, is unfair.
March 28, 2013 |
PERHAPS THE next big thing that the U.S. Supreme Court should undertake, after marriage equality, is the issue that plagues boomers like myself whose generational identity is eternally affiliated with youth and revolution: How old is too old? In this new world, what is the end parameter of our shelf life? The recent retirement of the pope and New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg in quick succession had bad news and good news for boomers like myself and other youthful seniors who are grappling with notions of old age. Pope Benedict XVI's radical decision to step down at age 85 suggests that we all have an expiration date, and despite current evidence to the contrary - We still go to work!
November 20, 2012
A LAWSUIT challenging mandatory retirement of Pennsylvania judges at age 70 raises interesting issues - legal, social and political. It was filed last week in Commonwealth Court by Philly big-dog trial lawyer Bob Heim, of Dechert LLC, on behalf of six judges, four from the city. It could affect the 1,000-plus judges statewide, and potentially judges in other states. You'd think any judge hearing the case might find it appealing. (Get it? Appealing ?) And if you're thinking, 'Wait, wouldn't any judge hearing the case be in conflict because he or she could financially benefit from a successful challenge?
November 15, 2012
Six Pennsylvania judges filed suit Wednesday alleging that the state retirement age of 70 for members of the bench violates the U.S. and Pennsylvania Constitutions. The plaintiffs are Westmoreland County Court Judge John Driscoll, Northampton County Court Judge Leonard N. Zito, and Philadelphia Common Pleas Court Judges John W. Herron, Benjamin Lerner, Sandra Mazer Moss, and Joseph D. O'Keefe. Gov. Corbett and three state officials are named as defendants in the suit, filed in Commonwealth Court.
March 30, 2012 |
Frank J. Montemuro Jr., 86, of Newtown, Bucks County, a former Pennsylvania Superior Court judge and Supreme Court justice, died of complications of Alzheimer's disease on Thursday, March 29, at Chandler Hall, an assisted-living facility in Newtown. Gov. Robert Casey nominated him in September 1992 as an interim appointment to the Supreme Court after the death that year of Justice James T. McDermott. Justice Montemuro was a month shy of his 67th birthday when appointed, and his term was cut short when he reached the mandatory retirement age of 70. In a 1992 Inquirer interview, he called the interim appointment the "culmination of a long judicial career.
March 5, 2012 |
Retired Bishop John C. Reiss, 89, eighth bishop of the Diocese of Trenton, died Sunday, March 4, at Morris Hall in Lawrenceville, N.J. He was the only priest born in the Trenton Diocese, which includes Burlington County, to serve as both auxiliary bishop and bishop. "Bishop Reiss was well known for his compassion and personal acts of kindness to so many people in the diocese," said Bishop David M. O'Connell, current leader of the diocese. Born one of 11 children in Red Bank, Bishop Reiss studied for the priesthood at Catholic University of America before entering Immaculate Conception Seminary in 1941.
January 3, 2003 |
Horace A. Davenport was nine credits short of a college degree in 1941 when he received a letter from the government telling him he had been drafted into the Army. Davenport, a Montgomery County senior judge, called the letter "one of those you can't ignore. " Early last year, Davenport, the first and only African American to serve on the county bench, received another letter he could not ignore. The letter told Davenport, 84, of a new Supreme Court rule that took effect this year requiring senior judges to retire at age 80. Today is Davenport's last as a judge, and his colleagues and friends say Montgomery County is losing a legal pioneer whose accomplishments are matched by the power of his personal story.
August 13, 1999 |
John C. Bogle said yesterday that he had hoped that Vanguard Group would make an exception for him - the company's founder and spiritual leader - when it came to the mandatory retirement age of 70. But the company's directors are saying no. Rules are rules. Even for the man who built Vanguard into the country's second-largest mutual-fund company by preaching the gospels of indexing and low-cost investing. Vanguard says that Bogle, who turned 70 in May, will step down from the Malvern company's board of directors by year's end to comply with a Vanguard policy that all directors retire in the year they turn 70. The news brought to light an apparent rift between Bogle, and his hand-picked successor, 45-year-old John Brennan, and the other directors of the nearly $500 billion fund company.
February 16, 1998 |
It seemed nothing could keep District Justice Robert M. Shaffer away from his job. Not his family obligations, not his service clubs, not even a massive heart attack three years ago. But what Shaffer can't avoid is a Pennsylvania law that says judges and district justices must retire before their 70th birthday. After 34 years on the bench, Shaffer will be hanging up his robe in April, the month he turns 70. "I used to think it was a fair law, but now that I'm nearly 70, I look at myself and say, 'I'm not too old,' " he said in an interview at his office yesterday.