Gianaris, Hoylman, 20 Senators on Candidates for Court of Appeals Chief Judge

September 7, 2022

NEW YORK – New York State Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris and Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Senator Brad Hoylman have sent a letter, signed by 20 members of the State Senate, urging the Commission on Judicial Nominations to send Governor Kathy Hochul a diverse list of candidates to replace outgoing Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, who is stepping down as Chief Judge on August 31. The large number of signatories indicates a strong desire for a more representative Court of Appeals from the body responsible for confirming any nominee.

“Court of Appeals judges must be defined by a lifetime of legal excellence, but that cannot be limited to people in just a few, select fields,” said Senate Deputy Leader Michael Gianaris. “For the Court to reflect the values of our state, its jurists should represent that excellence in different areas of the law and a commitment to serving others. That is especially important of the Chief Judge, who not only sets the tone for the Court but administers the state’s entire court system.”

“Last year, the Commission on Judicial Nomination included several candidates with a diverse personal and professional background in selecting its short list for the vacancy on the Court of Appeals,” said Senator Brad Hoylman, Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. “This year, with the vacancy of the Chief Judge and the direction of New York’s highest court at stake, it’s more important than ever that the Commission select candidates with a commitment to ensuring equity and justice for the most vulnerable New Yorkers.”

Senate Deputy Leader Gianaris and Senator Hoylman have led the Senate’s efforts to strengthen the rigor of the confirmation process for Court of Appeals nominees, including pushing for more candidates with diverse experience during the last court vacancy and leading substantial hearings into the candidates qualifications.

The full letter is available online: https://bit.ly/3qgzAMZ.

Peter F. Martin, Director of Judicial Accountability at the Center for Community Alternatives, said: “For too long, our courts have been dominated by former prosecutors and corporate lawyers, and New Yorkers have suffered as a result. Scholars and advocates have known from data and experience that New York’s courts best deliver justice and uphold New Yorkers’ values when our judges bring to the bench the full diversity of the state’s bar. We are grateful to the 20 State Senators who have called for a professionally diverse shortlist. We hope the Commission and the Governor will share this top priority as they consider the many highly qualified New Yorkers who have applied to fill the current vacancy on the Court of Appeals.”
Senator Andrew Gounardes said, “New Yorkers come from all kinds of different educational, professional, racial, and cultural backgrounds — and our judiciary must reflect the stunning diversity of the state it serves. With this new opening on our state’s highest court, we have an opportunity to chart a new direction on the court. Ensuring our next justice represents the breadth of New Yorkers’ identities and experiences is crucial to seizing that opportunity now.”

Senator Jessica Ramos said, “The opportunity to appoint a new Chief Judge and reset so much of our former governor’s terrible impact on our courts can’t be squandered. This vacancy has already been mired by impropriety and scandal, and we need to correct course. This letter demonstrates a growing consensus among my colleagues that we can only vote to confirm a nominee who will move the Court of Appeals forward.”

Senator Robert Jackson said: “We must ensure diversity of work backgrounds when nominating people that have committed themselves to represent the most vulnerable New Yorkers, whether in public defense, housing court, immigration court, or civil rights actions. The appointment of the next Chief Judge is a generational opportunity for New York to appoint someone that promotes equal justice for all. We ask for the governor to nominate a person for chief judge that is a progressive and is not from a prosecutor’s background, and certainly someone that reflects and shares the values of the state of New York.”

Senator Alessandra Biaggi said: “Our state’s highest court has the duty to provide New Yorkers with meaningful justice and uphold our rights and liberties. Under the influence of the previous Chief Judge, the court has fallen short of that goal — prioritizing the needs of the powerful over vulnerable New Yorkers. As the Commission on Judicial Nominations selects its shortlist to fill Judge DiFiore’s vacancy, they must select professionally diverse candidates and those with a demonstrated commitment to fighting for New Yorkers in need.”



ATHENS – Congressman John Sarbanes was the featured guest at the American College of Greece (ACG) for its Distinguished Speakers Series event on June 19.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

NEW YORK – Meropi Kyriacou, the new Principal of The Cathedral School in Manhattan, was honored as The National Herald’s Educator of the Year.


It’s Not as World-Famous as Ramen or Sushi. But the Humble Onigiri is Soul Food in Japan

TOKYO (AP) — The word “onigiri” became part of the Oxford English Dictionary this year, proof that the humble sticky-rice ball and mainstay of Japanese food has entered the global lexicon.

MONTREAL – The Daughters of Penelope (DOP) Foundation Inc.

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Christian Pulisic spread his arms wide with a big smile, then wanted to find the coach in the stands who drew up the fastest goal for the U.

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. (AP) — Maximiliano Araújo scored when he sent a long-range shot into the top far corner in the 16th minute, Darwin Núñez and Matías Viña added late goals and Uruguay beat Panama 3-1 on Sunday night in its Copa America opener.

The Netherlands needs a point from its final group game Tuesday against Austria to be sure of reaching the knockout stage of the European Championship, while Austria needs a win.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.