Gotham Gazette

The Place for New York Policy and politics



  • It’s Time to Reform New York’s Judicial Selection Process

    Judicial oath of office (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    I recently wrote anop-ed on the need to raise public awareness about judicial selection, inspired by the leak of the Supreme Court draft opinion in Dobbs that would reverse Roe and the recognition of women’s reproductive autonomy. As a candidate for Surrogate’s Court Judge, I have been frequently asked about the

  • The New York Commission on Judicial Nomination Must Get The Next One Right

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    The governor & high court (photo: governor's office)

    Even with Governor Andrew Cuomo’s announced resignation, New Yorkers must keep in mind that whoever is Governor has the power to appoint a judge to fill a looming vacancy on the Court of Appeals, New York’s highest court. And while Cuomo’s most recent nominations produced intense criticism and calls for the State Senate to deny confirmation, Cuomo is only partially to blame.

    In 1977, New York voters approved a constitutional amendment that repealed elections to the Court of Appeals and gave the

  • Concerns Over Budget Cuts to State Court System Amid Massive Case Backlog

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    Gov. Cuomo and Chief Judge Difiore (photo: governor's office)

    Members of the New York State Assembly’s Judiciary Committee held a virtual hearing on Thursday to examine the impacts of a proposed $300 million cut to the state judiciary’s budget. The reduction, which represents a 10% cut to the court system’s $3 billion budget for the current fiscal year, was announced by the Office of Court Administration (OAC) in September in response to Governor Andrew Cuomo’s directive that all state entities reduce their budgets by 10% to mitigate the budgetary effects of economic

  • Judicial Discretion Isn’t a Fix for Bail Reform; Bail Reform was the Answer to Judicial Discretion

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    As law enforcement and elected officials scream for a do-over regarding bail reform, they urge that judges should be given the discretion to remand people they believe to be dangerous. NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea in a New York Times op-ed wrote, “We can trust New York State’s judges to use this discretion wisely and only for individuals who pose a real threat to the public or who continuously flout the justice system.” Shea’s boss, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio, has been calling for giving judges discretion

  • Our Judicial Elections are Broken, But They’re No Joke

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    On June 25, Brooklyn Democrats will hold a primary to select the Democratic candidates for judges of the Civil Court and judge of the Surrogate Court.

    New York has a convoluted system for selecting judges. Some are appointed by the Governor. Criminal and Family Court judges in New York City are appointed by the Mayor. Candidates for Supreme Court are nominated at a judicial nominating convention, while candidates for Civil Court and Surrogate Court are elected through a traditional

  • Relatively Quiet Local Political Year Includes a Number of Judicial Elections

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    (photo: Ed Reed/Mayoral Photography Office)

    While it is a relatively quiet year for elections in New York City, there are several significant races underway that will be decided in the June primary and November general elections, not to mention proposals to change city governance from the 2019 Charter Revision Commission that will be on the fall ballot. The election slate this year includes often-overlooked judicial races, mostly for Civil Court.

    New York City voters will go to the polls this year, including for the June 25 party primaries where they exist,

  • For a Better Judicial Nominating Process, Support a Constitutional Convention

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    Mayor de Blasio swears in judges (photo: Ed Reed, Mayor's Office)

    We need to change the New York State Constitution to curb corruption in our government, we simply cannot wait for our elected officials to make those changes for us.

    Finding examples of corruption and self-serving behavior among our politicians in New York City and State is not difficult. It is part of all three branches of government - the legislative, executive, and judicial. In fact, New York has a judicial nominating process that has been condemned by