WASHINGTON -- The U.S. Supreme Court, in a decision that may lead to greater autonomy for the states, ruled yesterday that Missouri may constitutionally require state judges to retire at the age of 70.

Ruling 7-to-2 in Gregory v. Ashcroft, the court in an opinion delivered by Justice Sandra Day O'Connor ruled that the federal Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 does not apply to elected state judges.

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