State Senate Rejects Court Nominee

The State Senate voted down the nomination Wednesday of East Northport resident Justice Hector LaSalle to become chief judge of New York State.

Democrats organized to kill his appointment after the Senate Judiciary Committee voted him down January, and then said the nomination would not go to the full Senate.

That led Gov. Kathy Hochul to insist that, following past practices and, her office said, the state Constitution, he was entitled to a full Senate vote..

Republican State Sen. Anthony H. Palumbo sued to bring the vote to the full Senate, with Gov. Kathy Hochul fighting with members of her own party to insist that LaSalle’s nomination be considered. Many Democrats opposed him, saying he was too conservative, citing his past judicial decisions on abortion and labor union cases.

Wednesday’s vote was 39-20.

After the vote, Hochul issued a statement, “As I have said from the very beginning, the Constitution requires a full Senate vote on a Governor’s nomination for Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. While long overdue, the Senate has finally acquiesced to a vote on the floor on the nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle.

“This vote is an important victory for the Constitution. But it was not a vote on the merits of Justice LaSalle, who is an overwhelmingly qualified and talented jurist. 

“Now that the full Senate has taken a vote, I will work toward making a new nomination. I remain committed to selecting a qualified candidate to lead the court and deliver justice.That is what New Yorkers deserve.”




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