SENATE STANDING COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
SUBJECT: The nomination process for Judges to the New York State Court of Appeals.
PURPOSE: This hearing will examine the process by which nominees to the Court of Appeals are selected by the Commission of Judicial Nomination to be forwarded to the Governor.
Thursday, May 21, 2009
Erie County Legislature
4th Floor, Old Erie County Hall
92 Franklin Street
Buffalo, NY 14202
ORAL TESTIMONY BY INVITATION ONLY
The Commission on Judicial Nomination was created in 1977 by statute and Constitutional amendment, and charged with the task of promoting merit selection of Judges to the New York Court of Appeals. Pursuant to the Constitution and the Judiciary Law provisions which implement it, the Commission recommends to the governor a slate of candidates for each vacancy on the Court. The Commission is made up of 12 commissioners – of whom four each are chosen by the Governor and the Chief Judge of the State of New York, with one each being selected by the Speaker of the Assembly, Temporary President of the Senate, Minority Leader of the Senate and Minority Leader of the Assembly.
A series of concerns have been raised about the lack of diversity in the recent list of nominees from which Governor Paterson chose the next Chief Judge. This hearing will allow the Committee to explore the judicial selection process, including a perceived lack of transparency in the Commission’s process, and recommend any legislative remedies that may be deemed necessary.
Twenty copies of any prepared testimony should be submitted at the hearing registration desk. The Committees would appreciate advance receipt of prepared statements.
In order to further publicize these hearings, please inform interested parties and organizations of the Committees' interest in considering testimony from all sources.
Senator John Sampson
Senate Standing Committee
on the Judiciary