Delay in judge retirement ballot question generates lawsuit

    Three Democrats in the Pennsylvania Senate want a court to order the state to proceed later this month with a referendum about whether judges should be able to serve until they turn 75, extending the mandatory judicial retirement age by five years.

    The lawsuit filed late Thursday targets a newly passed resolution that directed the secretary of state to rewrite the ballot question and delay the public vote from the April 26 primary to the Nov. 8 general election.

    Supporters of rewriting and delaying the ballot question say the referendum’s current language is too confusing and that more people will get a chance to vote in November.

    Opponents say absentee voting has already begun, and pulling the question at this late hour would set a bad precedent. Some suspect Republicans want to ensure it passes in order to keep the only GOP Supreme Court justice on the bench after his 70th birthday in December.

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