Nation: Septuagenarians of the '70s

The eighth decade of the 20th century is drawing near; yet many of the men who hold the levers of congressional power in Washington were born before the century began. In a recent address to the National Press Club, former Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare John Gardner noted that since 1958, by act of Congress, the chief judges of federal district and circuit courts have been required to give up all administrative duties at age 70. Gardner suggested that Congress itself ought to follow suit.

"The Speaker of the House is 78," Gardner said. "Thirteen Senate and House committee chairmen are...

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