|RELEASES: Statements on Senate Judiciary vote on LaSalle from Hochul, Barclay, Ryan, Ortt, Carpenters union, Salazar, Mayer.|
|For Immediate Release: 1/18/2023|
GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL
STATEMENT BY GOVERNOR HOCHUL ON SENATE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE HEARING
"Today, New Yorkers had the opportunity to hear directly from Judge LaSalle, and what they heard was an affirmation of his commitment to fairness and justice above all else. He also shared his personal background and views, including his deeply held support for organized labor and unequivocal belief in the right to an abortion. Judge LaSalle demonstrated exactly why he is the right person for this role - because of his extensive experience, judicial temperament and integrity.
"While this was a thorough hearing, it was not a fair one, because the outcome was predetermined. Several Senators stated how they were going to vote before the hearing even began - including those who were recently given seats on the newly expanded Judiciary Committee. While the Committee plays a role, we believe the Constitution requires action by the full Senate."
For Release: IMMEDIATELY, January 18, 2023
Contact: Michael Fraser, office: 518-455-3751/cell: 518-859-8518
STATEMENT FROM ASSEMBLY MINORITY LEADER WILL BARCLAY ON JUDGE HECTOR LASALLE
“The nomination of a new chief judge of the state Court of Appeals is a historic and significant event. It’s unfortunate that Senate Democrats turned it into an embarrassing example of woke dysfunction.
Judge Hector LaSalle deserved a fair and objective process rather than the political sideshow that played out during the past several weeks. Liberal senators summarily dismissed Judge LaSalle’s candidacy based solely on political ideology before they even gave him the courtesy of a hearing or interview. The very makeup of the Senate Judiciary Committee was arbitrarily changed, stacking the deck and rigging the process against Judge LaSalle despite his stellar reputation and distinguished career.
Judges are expected to adjudicate cases based on the law, not political ideology. The process to nominate and confirm those judges demands the same level of objectivity and rationality. Senate Democrats completely failed to meet that basic standard. Regardless of where Judge LaSalle’s nomination goes from here, he – and the people of New York – deserved better.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 18, 2023
Contact: Ian Ott (716) 479-5481
STATEMENT FROM SENATOR SEAN RYAN ON JUDICIARY COMMITTEE VOTE
ALBANY – Today, January 18, 2023, New York State Senator Sean Ryan released the following statement regarding his vote against confirming Justice Hector LaSalle’s nomination to the New York State Court of Appeals:
“As potential members of New York’s highest court, it is vital that nominees to the New York State Court of Appeals face the highest level of scrutiny, akin to the scrutiny that nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court must face. Especially in light of the Dobbs decision and the current activist conservative majority on the U.S. Supreme Court, it is critically important that state courts act as a check against federal judicial overreach. Today the Senate Judiciary Committee provided Justice Hector LaSalle with a full and fair hearing to which he was entitled.
In preparation for today’s hearing, I spent weeks carefully examining Justice LaSalle’s record and decisions. During this process I became very concerned about his judgment and the impact it would have on our state’s highest court. While I appreciate Justice LaSalle’s responses to the committee’s wide-ranging questions, his answers demonstrated his overly narrow views of the rule of law and the role of courts in our society. After thoughtful consideration, I voted against his confirmation today. With the rejection of this nomination, I look forward to respectfully considering another nominee put forth by the Governor.”
CONTACT: Katy Delgado (914) 960-6050
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, January 18, 2023
STATEMENT FROM SENATE REPUBLICAN LEADER ROB ORTT
On Judiciary Committee Rejecting Nominee Justice Hector LaSalle
Today, the Judiciary Committee failed to follow its Constitutional responsibility to allow the nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle to proceed to a full Senate vote.
I thank Ranking Member Senator Palumbo and the Republican members of the Judiciary Committee for carrying out this process in a respectful and professional manner consistent with their obligation to the state constitution.
In contrast, the radical majority members of the Judiciary Committee put their far-left politics ahead of their obligation to the people of New York, effectively blocking Justice LaSalle from becoming the first Latino Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals.
We believe this nomination is due consideration by the full Senate, where it should be considered with an open mind based on his qualifications, not politics.
***FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 18, 2023***
New York, NY-- “Today, we applaud the New York Senate Judiciary Committee for standing up for working New Yorkers. Today’s hearing confirmed how over the course his career, Judge Hector LaSalle eroded and eviscerated the rights of workers to organize. New York must remain a place where workers’ rights are protected, not where they go to die. That is why we stand firmly with those in the legislature who opposed Judge LaSalle’s confirmation. With today’s vote against advancing his nomination, it is our sincere hope that a new, pro-labor nominee will be put forward.” - David Caraballoso, Vice President of the New York City & Vicinity District Council of Carpenters
The New York City District Council of Carpenters is a representative body comprised of nine individual Locals and 22,000 union members. The District Council functions as the voice for thousands of New York City's most dedicated and skilled Carpenters, Millwrights, Dockbuilders, Marine Divers, Core Drillers, Timbermen, Concrete Carpenters, Cabinetmakers, Floorcoverers and Industrial Workers
I've gone to bed and awakened every day for a month thinking about this horrendous nomination. Thanks to the members of the NYS Senate Judiciary Committee, especially Chair @bradhoylman, for ensuring a rigorous hearing. The committee's rejection of this nomination is just.
January 18, 2023
Contact: Hannah Kirk (she/her), Communications Director
C: 860.207.0926 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Statement by Senator Shelley Mayer on her “No” Vote Today in the Judiciary Committee on the Nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle as
Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals
Today the Senate Judiciary Committee, under the able leadership of Chair Brad Hoylman-Sigal, gave Justice Hector LaSalle a thoughtful and complete opportunity to respond to questions posed by my colleagues, explain his judicial philosophy, and get a full and fair hearing. I voted “no” on this nomination, fulfilling my constitutional duty of “advise and consent.” My statement below addresses my decision.
The issues raised in the hearing were broad and expansive, and Justice LaSalle’s responses did not change my prior position –– which I reached after meeting with the Justice –– that I could not support his nomination.
First, I view Justice LaSalle’s consistent pattern of interpreting statutes and common law extremely narrowly as inadequate because we face a crisis in the law and the courts of this land. We are confronted with a U.S. Supreme Court that has disregarded the rights and liberties of millions of Americans and threatens further infringement on our freedoms with decisions still to come. Just this past year, the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, which protected a woman’s constitutional right to abortion, and struck down New York’s concealed carry law. The current Court of Appeals has consistently ruled with a 4-3 conservative majority, taking up far fewer cases than in the past, and limiting the rights of workers, defendants, and many others seeking justice. I believe that at this moment we need a Chief Judge who will restore the reputation of New York’s highest court to one of national leadership; who will ensure that the Court’s decisions are based on a fair and broad interpretation of New York laws and the New York State Constitution consistent with legislative intent; and who will commit to improving the operation of our court system in every town, village and city.
For the past five years, this legislature, and both the current and former governors, joined in moving New York ahead by expanding voting rights, protecting reproductive health care, enacting common sense gun reforms, and expanding workers’ rights, among other important developments. Each of the new laws we have enacted is subject to interpretation by the Court of Appeals. I do not believe — given Justice LaSalle’s past record, which includes a limited track record of his own written opinions, and my reading of the cases, especially the decisions in Cablevision Sys. Corp. v. Communications Workers of Am. Dist. 1, People v. Bridgeforth, and Matter of Evergreen Ass’n, Inc. v. Schneiderman — that he will bring the perspective of applying a broad and justice-driven lens to the cases before the Court on a consistent basis.
In addition, I am deeply concerned about the operation of our huge court system from the perspective of my constituents. Thousands of New Yorkers, here in the Second Department and throughout the State, seek justice in our local courts – our city courts, family courts, and town and village justice courts every day. Frequently, our constituents go to court without a lawyer, in distress or suffering family trauma, afraid and alone. These are not cases with expensive law firms and corporate litigants. They are regular people in our communities, who view the court with fear and trepidation, and who have little power and few ways to make their claims or defend themselves.
I regret that Justice LaSalle has not made the issues they face a priority, nor did his answers today convince me that he would do so going forward. He was unwilling to take a larger role in these important issues, leaving them to the Chief Administrative Judge, without articulating any clear plan to prioritize them under his leadership. I looked for a candidate who had used his seniority, leadership, and authority as the Presiding Justice of the state’s busiest Judicial Department to address these challenges or to discuss them with specificity. I did not see that today.
I have great respect personally for Justice LaSalle, and for all he has accomplished in his career. However it is my constitutional obligation as a Senator, honored to be serving in a co-equal branch of government to the Executive, to exercise my judgment on whether a nominee should be confirmed. I executed this responsibility with the solemnity it deserves, and with the due diligence it requires.
New York deserves a Chief Judge with the leadership, creativity, and vision to take on the immense challenges facing our court system. We need someone with a robust record of jurisprudence who takes on difficult questions because they are hard, someone who considers deeply the rights and liberties of all of our citizens, and someone who views our Courts as truly the guarantor of our democratic process.
For the reasons stated above, and for others, I have voted “no” on this nomination.
Note: After testing positive for COVID, I was unable to be present in the Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing Room today to participate in the hearing on the nomination of Presiding Justice Hector D. LaSalle to be the Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals. I complied with Senate rules, and drove to Albany to check in but did not go inside to the hearing. As with any hearing or committee meeting, so long as a Senator checks in, they are able to vote. Once checked in, I watched the hearing remotely.