Democrats Defeat Kathy Hochul’s Pick to Be New York’s Top Judge

On Wednesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted against advancing the Court of Appeals nomination of Judge Hector LaSalle to a full vote.

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essenceofreddit
essenceofreddit
346 · 13 days ago · Reddit

I don't understand how this woman is the best the Democrats can do in the state of New York

Topher1999
Topher1999
88 · 14 days ago · Reddit

For now. Hochul is already threatening to sue the senate for a full floor vote and republicans have already said they will vote for him. Despicable.

coldbruise
coldbruise
62 · 13 days ago · Reddit

Mods, this article is "free for a limited time" according to the nymag website. But I'd be happy to provide a transcript if it becomes unavailable!

Oeasy5
Oeasy5
56 · 13 days ago · Reddit

Hochul: The commitee was clearly biased after looking into LaSalle's established history as a judge. HOW DARE THEY!

Murdercorn
Murdercorn
50 · 13 days ago · Reddit

This article is going to be behind a paywall soon, so here it is:

Democrats Defeat Kathy Hochul’s Pick to Be New York’s Top Judge

By Nia Prater, Intelligencer staff writer, who covers New York politics

Lawmakers rejected Kathy Hochul’s pick to lead the state’s highest court on Wednesday, with her own party dealing a significant blow to the governor. The Senate Judiciary Committee voted to reject the nomination of Hector LaSalle to be chief justice of the Court of Appeals, led by opposition from Democrats on the panel. The vote was 10-9 against.

Hochul selected LaSalle, who currently presides over the appeals division the state’s Supreme Court that covers New York City and surrounding areas, to be the first Latino person to serve on the Court of Appeals. As chief justice, he would have also overseen the state’s entire judicial system. But opposition to LaSalle slowly began to rise after some lawmakers cited past court decisions that he joined that critics viewed as anti-union or potentially a threat to abortion rights. Several major unions also came out against LaSalle’s nomination including 32BJ SEIU, the powerful service workers union, CWA District 1, and the state’s chapter of the AFL-CIO.

During the nearly five-hour hearing, LaSalle was questioned by 19 members of the judiciary committee over his past cases and his judicial philosophy. In his opening remarks, the judge rejected some of the claims made against him, saying that he didn’t want his daughter to have less rights than her mother and mentioning his family members’ past membership in unions.

“This is what I believe. If that’s different from what you’ve heard or read, I’m happy now to set the record straight,” he said.

Despite Democratic opposition leading up to the hearing, Hochul never wavered in her support, telling the New York Post that she expected LaSalle to have enough support after a fair hearing and “not the pre-judgment that is going on and the mischaracterizations and the character assassination that is going on.” Latino Democrats including former City Council Speaker Melissa Mark Viverito and former Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer also lobbied on his behalf, saying in a statement he was the victim of “an unprecedented, disingenuous and unhinged campaign to distort” his record.

On Saturday, Hochul ramped up her support in public, holding a Bronx rally on Saturday with political heavyweights such as House Minority Leader Hakeem Jeffries and Representative Nydia Velázquez. Her effusive backing of LaSalle took an odd turn during a Sunday speech at Sunset Park’s Trinity Lutheran Church where she invoked Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to defend LaSalle from criticism. “Dr. King called upon us to be just and to be fair and to not judge people,” she said, according to HellGate. “And that has not been afforded to an individual named Judge Hector LaSalle. And I know in my heart that we’re better than that.”

With LaSalle’s nomination not going to the full Senate for a vote, it’s unclear what Hochul’s next move will be. Prior to the hearing, the Buffalo News reported that the governor was considering retaining a litigator to pursue legal action against the Senate. Susan Lerner, the executive director of Common Cause New York said in a statement that she was “horrified” that Hochul is contemplating this action, saying that it would be “a brutal attack on a democratically elected institution.”

mowotlarx
mowotlarx
28 · 13 days ago · Reddit

What did they promise this guy for the seat? Plenty of judges around they could have chosen and pulled resumes for. Why do we owe it to him? Democratic voters want Democrats who won't give away ~~lifelong~~ over a decade long appointments to conservative judges who pretend to be moderates.

Hrekires
Hrekires
13 · 13 days ago · Reddit

Why did Hochul even pick this fight after limping to victory in November?

She could have nominated basically any center-left judge.

drpvn
drpvn
5 · 13 days ago · Reddit

And that’s why they expanded the committee earlier this month to add three guaranteed “no” votes. That made the difference.