It's one of the potentially most consequential decisions Gov. Kathy Hochul has to make in the coming weeks: Who should lead New York's top court and its court system?
The state Commission on Judicial Nomination on Wednesday submitted seven candidates for Hochul to choose from for a nomination to the state Senate. By law, her nomination will be made between Dec. 8 and Dec. 23.
Potential top judges for New York's Court of Appeals include a sitting member of the top court: Associate Judge Anthony Cannataro.
Additional nominees include Yale Law School Professor Abbe Gluck, Appellate Division President Justice Hector LaSalle, Albany Law School Dean Alicia Ouellette, Deputy Chief Administrative Judge for Justice Initiatives Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson, Associate Justice of the Appellate Division Jeffry Oing and Corey L. Stoughton, the attorney-in-charge at The Legal Aid Society.
The commission is an appointed body that is composed of panelists appointed by the governor, legislative leaders in the state Senate and Assembly and the chief judge.
Progressives are closely watching who Hochul nominates to the post given the decisions in recent years have had a wide-ranging impact on New York's politics, including a ruling that rejected the proposed redistricting maps drawn by the state Legislature as unconstitutional.
Some lawmakers and advocates have also called for a nominee who reflects the state's diversity and a judge with a background as a public defender.
“I am gratified at the extraordinary quality and diverse backgrounds of our applicants," said E. Leo Milonas, the chairman of the commmission. "That so many exceptional candidates were motivated to apply demonstrates the remarkable strength and depth of the legal profession in the State of New York.”
Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, appointed by former Gov. Andrew Cuomo, abruptly resigned in July amid a reported judicial conduct investigation.