ALBANY, NY – Chief Judge Janet Difiore recently announced she is stepping down from the New York State Court of Appeals.
NewsChannel 34’s Jamie DeLine explains the process that will now take place to appoint her replacement.
The New York State Court of Appeals is the highest court in the state. On Monday, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore announced she is stepping down from the coveted position after serving for 7 years.
“The New York Court of Appeals is one of the great courts in American History. Traditionally, it’s one of the most influential courts in America and in fact, through much of its history it is considered at least as good, and some of the time it’s considered much better than the United States Supreme Court itself. It is really a promintate position.”
Albany Law School Professor, Vincent Bonventre says when there is a vacancy in this court , a notice is given to the Commission on Judicial nomination.
“The governor in our state doesn’t get to pick just anybody, the governor must pick from a list that is provided by that commission, so the commission i would imagine has now received notification that chief judge DiFiore will be resigning effective august 31st. So the comission now will have 120 days to solicit applications and then interview some applicants and then vote on and provide the governor with a list of 7 names.”
After the governor makes her decision. The Senate then accepts or rejects her choice. According to Bonventre, Governor Hochul’s has an opportunity now to reshape the Court of Appeals, especially if she chooses someone as chief judge who is already on the court.
“Say she chooses two of the more liberal members of the court. That is Shirley Troutman, who she actually just appointed to the court. And Shirley Troutman is from Buffalo just like Hochul is, or Rowan Wilson who is an absolutely brilliant lawyer and now a brilliant judge, If she was to appoint either one of those, she would make history number one because they are both African American. We would have the first African American Chief judge in the history of the state. Number two, I’d she selected one of those 2, what would happen? It would create another vacancy on the court.”
I’m told that the Court of Appeals will convene for an election session next Tuesday, July 19th. Reporting in Albany, I’m Jamie DeLine.