New York State’s Senate sends Chief Judge nominee to the floor

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ALBANY, NY (WENY) — A few weeks ago, the Senate Judiciary Committee threw out Gov. Kathy Hochul’s nomination for the state’s Court of Appeals sending many lawmakers into upset. Wednesday, the Senate decided to move forward with a floor vote for nominee Hector LaSalle.

Last week, Sen. Anthony Palumbo (R-1st Senate District) filed a lawsuit to force a full vote. The Senate voted 39-20 meaning the nomination died on the floor. But Sen. Palumbo said even though the nomination no longer stands, the merits of the lawsuit still do.

“As indicated earlier, this is about what is good for the entire state. We have 63 representatives and that’s really the nature of this constitution–is the people’s voice. We all act as their voice in this process,” Sen. Palumbo said.

Palumbo added he is hoping the lawsuit establishes a court precedent that judicial nominees always go to the Senate floor.

But Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-35th Senate District) disagreed.

“Our rules make sense. Why go through the resources? Why go through the excess energy? If you know, based in committee it’s not going to prevail on the floor. So, all this did frankly was underscore the value of the committee process and illustrate why it makes sense,” she said.

Gov. Hochul issued an official statement following the vote saying the vote was a victory for the Constitution but was not a vote on the merits of Justice LaSalle.

Moving forward, Gov. Hochul will likely be putting forward another nomination in the coming weeks.


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