TRENTON, N.J. (AP) -- New Jersey's 40-year-old law that allows retired judges to be recalled to the bench has been upheld.

Judge (AndreyPopov, Thinkstock)

The law was challenged by a man convicted of assault and robbery for attacking a woman in a parking lot of the Morris County Mall in 2010.

The judge who presided over the case was 73 years old and had been recalled to service.

The defendant, James Buckner, appealed on the grounds that the law violates the New Jersey Constitution.

In a divided decision, an appeals court rejected his arguments, though the dissenting judge wrote that the law is unconstitutional because it encroaches on the power of the governor to appoint judges.

Thursday's Supreme Court ruling held the law doesn't violate the separation of powers doctrine.
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