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Castille Hopes To Stay on Pa. Supreme Court Bench Until Mandatory Retirement

By Tony Romeo

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) -- Pennsylvania Supreme Court chief justice Ronald Castille says he plans to seek "retention" by voters this fall for another ten years on the state Supreme Court -- even though, under current rules, he faces mandatory retirement just two years from now.

Castille, once Philadelphia's district attorney, wants to continue to serve as chief justice even though he's approaching the current mandatory retirement age of 70 and believes 2015 would be his last year.

But Castille says it's a difficult time to quit, with the seven-member high court down to six members as Justice Joan Orie Melvin faces criminal charges.

"And it could be that way a while," Castille notes, "depending on what happens to her.  So this is a time when we need experienced justices -- and I'm the one with the most experience.  I've been here 19 years."

Castille also points out that the state constitution's mandatory retirement age for judges is being challenged in federal courts.

He said he wants to be around to continue overseeing the ongoing reform of Philadelphia Traffic Court and completion of the new Family Court building in center city Philadelphia.

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