Term limits in place when judges reach age 70

To the editor:

In November, we will have the opportunity to elect a judge to the court of common pleas. In the spring, one candidate placed much emphasis on the idea of term limits for the judiciary and argued for limitations on the number of times a person can be chosen to serve the public as their judge.

However, this candidate failed to mention the fact that, for judges, Pennsylvania has already imposed term limits. Under current Pennsylvania law, judges face mandatory retirement at age 70. This allows communities such as ours to have the benefit of a judge’s years of proven experience and competence while allowing for reasonable turnover as determined by the demographics of small-county bar associations.

Indeed, communities in counties all around us have enjoyed the benefits of competent judges serving for more than two terms. Our Mifflin County communities should have the opportunity to have that experience and competence serving in our common pleas court as well.

By failing to mention this existing limitation, it seems that the unproven and untested candidate is hoping the voters of Mifflin County will ignore the vast differences in the two candidates’ courtroom and judicial experience. Judge Searer’s demonstrated record in the courtroom has earned him the respect of those who appear before him as well as that of his peers on the common pleas bench. Appellate courts have commented in their opinions about the thorough manner in which he has analyzed and disposed of cases appealed to their courts. If you believe the job of judge is one where demonstrated experience matters, the choice on Nov. 5 is clear.

I hope that you will join me and vote to reelect Judge Tim Searer as President Judge of Mifflin County.

Mike Hesketh