March 24, 2023
Today, the Commission on Judicial Nomination issued a new list of seven candidates for Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. Over the past several months, NYCLA has argued vigorously that judicial candidates should be evaluated based on their qualifications, background, experience, and temperament. And, for the office of Chief Judge – who is responsible for administering New York’s sprawling court system – management skills are also of paramount importance. Consistent with its long track record of non-partisanship and professionalism, the Commission has put forward a list of distinguished jurists and attorneys. The State should be proud of the Commission’s work, which has given the Governor many excellent choices.
Now the attention turns back to the Governor, who will select one of the seven candidates, and to the State Senate, which will be asked to approve the Governor’s nominee. We hope that the events of the past few months, which involved a politically driven campaign of misinformation against the Governor’s previous nominee, Second Department Presiding Justice Hector LaSalle, will not be repeated. Instead, we hope that cooler heads will prevail and that the process this time will involve thoughtful analysis of the candidates’ qualifications and experience. It is important that all involved respect the Governor’s role, as Chief Executive, in choosing a nominee, as well as the Senate’s role in providing thoughtful advice and consent. The judicial nomination process should not devolve into gamesmanship, name-calling, or partisan bickering. Indeed, the health of our judiciary—and thus of our state government—depends on it.
About the New York County Lawyers Association
The New York County Lawyers Association (www.nycla.org) was founded in 1908 as one of the first major bar associations in the country that admitted members without regard to race, ethnicity, religion or gender, and has a long history of supporting the rights of LGBTQ+ people. Since its inception, NYCLA has pioneered some of the most far-reaching and tangible reforms in American jurisprudence. For more information on NYCLA please visit nycla.org.
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