The New York State Legislature Senate Committee has blocked the nomination of Hector LaSalle to be Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals for a full floor vote. This comes as a blow to Gov. Kathy Hochul, who has expended much of her political capital following her election.
LaSalle has been questioned closely for his decisions in regard to reproductive rights and labor relations. He says that he was merely enforcing the law as he saw it. He has defended himself as coming from the working class and a friend of unions. Regardless, progressive advocates do not approve of his records and neither have a majority of Democrats on the committee. 10-2 the nomination failed to move forward.
This is the first time since the 1970s that a governor’s pick has failed to move to a full floor vote. Hochul appears to plan to sue to have the vote forced to the Senate floor. Moreover, national Democratic figures such as House Minority leader Hakeem Jeffries have given support to the embattled nominee. Quite why, is unclear as the Appeals Court has moved in a worryingly conservative direction. The last thing they need is a nominally liberal judge continuing that slide.
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