An attorney representing four judges says the Legislature circumvented the Arkansas Constitution when it passed a law eliminating retirement benefits for judges who are elected at age 70 or older.
The Arkansas Supreme Court heard oral arguments Thursday in an appeal of a lower court's December ruling upholding the law.
The state framed the law as protecting the integrity of the judiciary because a person's abilities can deteriorate with age. Judges who turn 70 while they are in office can finish their term without losing their benefits.
The judges' attorney, Gerry Schulze, says the law is a penalty that adds an indirect requirement to the qualifications to be a circuit judge.