ALBANY, NY – Today, New York State Senators Alessandra Biaggi, Jabari Brisport, Robert Jackson, Gustavo Rivera, and Julia Salazar issued a joint statement regarding Governor Andrew Cuomo’s nomination of Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas to replace Judge Leslie Stein on New York’s Court of Appeals. The New York State Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduled to vote on District Attorney Singas’ nomination today.
The five Senators issued the following statement:
“As members of the State Senate, we take the constitutional responsibility of voting to confirm judicial nominees incredibly seriously. The New York State Court of Appeals, our highest court, is entrusted with issuing decisions that shape the fundamental rights of New Yorkers. A single judge serves fourteen years on the bench, setting precedents that last for decades. In a moment when our state and country are experiencing an unprecedented and long overdue racial justice reckoning, it is especially harmful to appoint a judge who has shown an active resistance to an equitable criminal legal system.
Throughout District Attorney Singas’ long career as a prosecutor, she has too often sided with harmful criminal justice policies. Notably, she opposed the historic bail reform legislation passed in 2019, and her office actively trained District Attorney offices on how to evade these newly enacted laws. Additionally, District Attorney Singas advocated for policies that aim to significantly increase incarceratory punishment, and refused to press charges against eight police officers caught on video physically assaulting Akbar Rogers.
For far too long, the New York State Court of Appeals has been dominated by former prosecutors, with little representation from public defenders and civil rights lawyers. As Senators committed to dismantling systemic racism within our criminal justice system, we believe District Attorney Singas’ past support for maintaining draconian criminal justice policies renders her unfit to serve in our highest court. We plan to vote against her nomination, and we urge our colleagues to do the same.”