The New York State Conference of the NAACP is warning against a proposed move to raise the mandatory age for judges to retire to 80. The civil rights organization’s affiliate feels that raising the age could be harmful to litigants because older judges may not be up-to-date on laws and issues when they make life-changing decisions for people.
The law, Proposition 6, was discussed during the NAACP’s statewide conference in Syracuse, N.Y. The 56 state chapter leaders passed a unanimous resolution against the proposed proposition and urged its local leaders to go back home and educate and organize their communities.
“We are urging all our members to vote no on Nov. 5 on Prop. 6,” said Hazel Dukes, president of the NAACP New York State Conference.
Currently, judges can sit beyond 70 years of age but must be certified and determined fit to do so every two years up to the age of 76. After that, they must retire.
The NAACP said that there are plenty of younger, qualified lawyers who should be afforded the opportunity to be judges, many of them people of color.
In September, the Siena Research Institute of Siena College released a poll that revealed that 71 percent of voters opposed Proposition 6 while 26 percent supported it.