At the end of the year, Judge Charles Holcomb will say goodbye to the Court of Criminal Appeals, two years short of the end of his term. “I stayed as long as they would let me. I’m 77 years old,” Holcomb says with a chuckle. Holcomb won re-election to his seat for a second term in 2006 at age 73, but it promised to be a short one; at the time, elected judges were only allowed to serve until the age of 75. A CCA judge is elected to a six-year term. But after he was elected, voters approved an amendment to the Texas Constitution, which allows judges who turn 75 during their term to serve out a four-year term. The amendment is more targeted toward district judges, Holcomb notes, as they serve four-year terms. “If they turn 75 during the term, if they’d like to serve out the rest of the term, they can.” Holcomb has already made plans for his retirement. “I’m hoping to play some golf,” he says. “I’ve made myself available for assignment. I can sit in appellate courts or trial courts if needed.” Holcomb’s retirement also gives Gov. Rick Perry a chance to make his first appointment to the CCA since 2001, when he placed Cathy Cochran on Texas' highest criminal court. A spokesperson for the governor did not immediately return a call for comment.
-- John Council