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103-year-old judge still serving

UPI News Service, 09/17/2010 

A 103-year-old federal judge in Kansas says he has no plans to retire, but he no longer takes on cases bound for extended court battles.

Judge Wesley Brown of the United States District Court in Wichita, one of only four President John F. Kennedy appointees still serving on the bench, said he has charged his colleagues with telling him when it appears that he can no longer perform his job, The New York Times reported Friday.

"I hope when that day comes I go out feet first," Brown said.

The judge, who is only one year shy of matching the record set by Judge Joseph Woodrough, who died at the age of 104 while serving on the Eighth Circuit in 1977, said he still takes on a full load of criminal cases, but he no longer accepts cases that seem likely to stretch for long periods of time.

"At this age, I'm not even buying green bananas," Brown joked.

Colleagues said Brown's ability to arbitrate has not decreased with age, despite his use of an oxygen tube in the courtroom.

"Physically he's changed a lot, but mentally I haven't noticed any diminution of his ability," said Judge Monti Belot, Brown's former law clerk who now has a courtroom in the same building "which has to be pretty unique."

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