With Vacancy on Court of Appeals, Commission on Judicial Nomination Seeks Applications

By Brandon Vogel

With Vacancy on Court of Appeals, Commission on Judicial Nomination Seeks Applications

8.1.2022

By Brandon Vogel

Court of Appeals

The New York State Commission on Judicial Nomination has announced that it is soliciting candidates to fill the upcoming vacancy of chief judge of the New York State Court of Appeals and the State of New York that will occur as of August 31, 2022, due to Chief Judge Janet DiFiore’s resignation.

In addition to presiding over the state’s Court of Appeals, its highest court, the chief judge oversees the state court system with a budget of more than $2 billion and thousands of employees.

Candidates for Judge DiFiore’s vacancy may download application forms from the commission’s website at www.nysegov.com/cjn or contact the commission’s counsel, Henry M. Greenberg, c/o Greenberg Traurig, LLP, 54 State Street, 6th Floor, Albany, New York, 12208 (Greenberg, a past president of the New York State Bar Association, may also be reached by telephone: (518) 689-1492; e-mail: [email protected]; or fax: (518) 689-1499.)

According to the news release, while prospective candidates must file an application with the Commission, recommendations may be made by anyone who believes that a prospective candidate could be an excellent chief judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York. Recommendations of qualified candidates for a vacancy are encouraged and may be made to the Commission’s Counsel.

Applications may be filed electronically by e-mailing them to [email protected] or submitted by mail to the commission’s counsel. The deadline to submit applications is August 29, 2022.

NYSBA’s role

The New York State Bar Association will evaluate the seven candidates that the Commission on Judicial Nomination recommends to Gov. Kathy Hochul.

The commission has 120 days to make recommendations to the governor and the association will deliver its ratings of the candidates to the governor within 15 days of receiving the names. The governor has 15 to 30 days from the time the names are submitted by the commission to select one of the candidates. Her nominee must be confirmed by the state Senate.

“The chief judge oversees the entire state court system and ensures the integrity and fairness of our judicial system. I am proud that the New York State Bar Association plays such an integral role in helping the governor select a candidate of the highest caliber,” said Sherry Levin Wallach, president of the New York State Bar Association.

The association will consider professional ability, experience, character, temperament and other qualities in rating each candidate. Each candidate’s qualifications and background are thoroughly examined. Personal interviews are conducted, and each candidate is rated as “well qualified,” “qualified,” or “not qualified.”

According to association guidelines, “qualified” applies to candidates who have demonstrated the necessary qualifications while “well qualified” is reserved for those who possess pre-eminent abilities.

New podcast

In the latest episode of Miranda Warnings, host David Miranda is joined by Albany Law School professor and constitutional scholar Vin Bonventre and former journalist and political strategist Liz Benjamin to discuss the DiFiore resignation and what is next for the state’s highest court. Check it out here.

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