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Max Baer, Pennsylvania Supreme Court Chief Justice, dies at age 74

Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Max Baer, dies at 74
Chief Justice of Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Max Baer, dies at 74 00:32

HARRISBURG, Pa. (CBS) - The Chief Justice of the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, Max Baer, has died.

According to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, he died suddenly at his home near Pittsburgh. 

"This is a tremendous loss for the Court and all of Pennsylvania," said now Chief Justice Debra Todd, who is the longest serving justice on the court.

Mr. Baer was set to retire at the end of the year as he would reach the mandatory retirement age of 75.

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf issued a statement in which he expressed his condolences.

I'm extremely saddened to learn that Chief Justice Baer passed away. He was a respected and esteemed jurist with decades of service to our courts and our commonwealth. I am grateful for his contributions and leadership in the Supreme Court.

Pennsylvania House Majority Leader and Republican Rep. Kerry Benninghoff writes in her statement:

Of note, his admirable work in the area of foster care, adoption and child advocacy is something that has had a monumental impact on the lives of countless Pennsylvania children and made the dream of becoming a family a reality for many.

House Democratic Leader Rep. Joanna E. McClinton announced:

My condolences are with Justice Max Baer's family on his passing. Justice Baer's contributions to our commonwealth cannot be overstated. He was a giant in the Pennsylvania legal community for more than 40 years, having served in the Attorney General's Office, in private practice, and as a judge and, most notably, as chief justice on the state Supreme Court. Throughout his career, he was a champion of the commonwealth's children, earning multiple accolades for his advocacy. Most recently, Justice Baer had been a fierce defender of free and fair elections. I have no doubt that his legacy to Pennsylvania will endure.

He was sworn in as chief justice last year and was first elected to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court in 2003.

Baer was a Pittsburgh native who graduated from Pitt in 1971 and Duquesne Law School in 1975.

He was 74 years old.

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