NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Orleans Parish Criminal Court Judge Frank Marullo Jr. has been removed from bench while a challenge plays out over whether he's too old to serve.

The Louisiana Supreme Court issued the emergency interim disqualification Friday. The order, signed by all the justices, comes at the recommendation of the state Judiciary Commission.

The ruling means the 75-year-old Marullo will be paid while the court weighs arguments over whether he has passed the mandatory retirement age under the Louisiana Constitution.

Marullo argues the 1921 version of the constitution, which was in effect when he was sworn in by Gov. Edwin Edwards 40 years ago, set the age limit for judges at 75. The age limit was changed in 1974.

Marullo survived a challenge to his candidacy last year.

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