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Judges won't remain on the state's highest court and principal trial courts until 80 years old after voters rejected a referendum to raise the age limit a decade.
That would have postponed mandatory retirement for four of the seven judges currently on the Court of Appeals, who are appointed to 14-year terms.
State Supreme Court justices, who are elected to 14-year-terms, can now get three two-year extensions beyond 70, provided they get a certificate that they're capable and needed by New York's overcrowded courts.
Approval would have allowed them five extensions.
Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman says the lower limit is out of date considering modern life spans, depriving the courts of expertise.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo didn't taken a position on the referendum, which could have limited his appointments to the top court.