D.C. Superior Court, which just two months ago began functioning at full speed with all 44 seats filled, lost two veteran judges last week.
Judges William E. Stewart Jr. and Dyer Justice Taylor, both 11-year veterans on the court, announced their retirements, in part to take advantage of a 13 percent cost of living increase in retirement benefits, some of which they would have lost by not retiring before March 1.
Taylor, 59, who was an administrative law judge for nine years before his appointment to the court by President Nixon, said he would still be available to sit on cases from time to time but he was calling it quits in part because health problems oblige him to have a reduced work schedule. Taylor, an amateur radio buff with an advanced class license, also wanted to have a little more time for his hobby.
Stewart, 61, another Nixon appointee who spent 25 years in private practice before his appointment, said he was retiring because "I want to improve my golf handicap . . . stroll the the fairways and taste the flowers."
Stewart said both he and Taylor would be staying on until successors are installed, but Stewart is not sure whether he will return to sit on cases.