18 January 2023

I am Amused

Much like her predecessor Andrew "Rat Faced Andy" Cuomo, New York Governor Kathy Hochul is determined to hamstring the state Democratic Party, probably because it empowers the governor (particularly a conservative Democrat) and disempowers the legislature.

Cuomo tried to keep the State Senate in Republican, and Hochul appears to be determined to keep the Court of Appeals, which despite the name is the highest court in the State of New York, in conservative hands to do the same.

She nominated Hector LeSalle to be the next chief justice, and he has a long record of being anti-abortion, anti-union, anti-defendant, and anti-civil rights, which makes him a perfect pick for Hochul. (Seriously, his record is positively horrific.)

Of course, the nomination has to be approved by the State Senate, and the Senate Judiciary Committee just voted to reject his nomination, which means that his nomination is dead, probably.

Hochul has implied that she will sue in an attempt to get a floor vote, claiming that the, "Advice and consent of the Senate," mentioned in the state constitution demands this, which to my mind is a rather bizarre reading of the state constitution.

Gov. Kathy Hochul’s embattled nominee to become New York State’s top judge was rejected on Wednesday, an unprecedented repudiation that underscored a deep division among Democrats on the direction of the state’s judicial system.

After a combative hourslong hearing, the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 10-9 against the nomination of Justice Hector D. LaSalle, whose nomination was strongly opposed by progressives who saw him as too conservative.

The committee’s rejection — the first time that New York lawmakers have voted against a governor’s choice for chief judge — laid bare how vulnerable Ms. Hochul, a Buffalo-area Democrat, may be to a challenge from her own party. All 10 senators who voted against the judge were Democrats; two Democrats voted in favor of Justice LaSalle, while one Democrat and all six Republicans on the committee voted in favor “without recommendation.”

The rejection does not necessarily mean that the LaSalle saga is over. The governor has not ruled out taking legal action to force a vote on Justice LaSalle’s nomination on the full Senate floor, raising the specter of a constitutional showdown.
Given the amount of flak that Hochul has gotten over this, and given that she has gone to the mat for LaSalle anyway, I do expect steps to be taken by the Governor to force a floor vote.

I do not know how this will end, but hopefully Hochul, and LaSalle, end up losing.


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