Panel Discusses Cases Creating Controversy in Presiding Justice Hector LaSalle’s Nomination for Chief Judge

By Jennifer Andrus

Panel Discusses Cases Creating Controversy in Presiding Justice Hector LaSalle’s Nomination for Chief Judge

1.11.2023

By Jennifer Andrus

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A panel of New York State Bar Association experts analyzed the three cases at the heart of the criticism of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s nominee for chief judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York.

The panelists, appearing on the “Miranda Warnings” podcast,  spoke about the cases, which were raised by more than 40 law school professors in a letter sent to Gov. Hochul criticizing the nominee, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, Hector LaSalle. The criticism has centered on a contention that he is anti-abortion and anti-union.

“Contextually [these groups] are not looking at the details. They are using broad brush strokes, saying ‘hostility to unions.’ That is very arbitrary,” said Liz Benjamin, managing director of Marathon Strategies in Albany.

Vin Bonventre, a professor at Albany Law School, says the case about the crisis pregnancy center came down to the First Amendment right of association. In that case, New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman was prevented from accessing donor records.

“The United States Supreme Court has made it clear that concerning membership in these non profit organizations and who these donors are that smacks up against the First Amendment right of free association,” said Bonventre. “I don’t see this as an anti-choice decision at all.”

For the full conversation, click below.

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