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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Worthy of Review: A Chief Judge For Silver?

A Chief Judge For Silver?
The New York Daily News by Elizabeth Benjamin - January 13, 2009

A source close to Gov. David Paterson confirmed, as is now being widely reported, that the governor is indeed poised to name Chief Administrative Judge Jonathan Lippman to fill the chief judge post left vacant on the state's highest court by the retirement of Judith Kaye. The deadline for Paterson to fill Kaye's seat is Thursday (Jan. 15). This is a very unusual decision. According to one observer, there has not been a single chief judge selected by a governor in 100 years who wasn't already sitting on the court. But Lippman was widely believed to be the favorite of Kaye, who tapped him for the administrative judge job in 1996.

His selection by Paterson is also a win for Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who is a childhood friend of Lippman and has reportedly been pulling for him to land the chief judge job. It had been speculated that the inside track for this appointment was held by Court of Appeals Justice Theodore Jones, the lone African American on the list of recommended chief judge candidates that sparked an outcry by Paterson and others due to its alleged lack of diversity. If Paterson had opted for Jones - or even Eugene Pigott, another sitting Court of Appeals justice on the list - he would have created another vacant spot on the high court, thereby enabling himself to assuage the critics of the Commission on Judicial Nomination and tap a woman or a Latino - or, better yet, a Latina! - and make everybody happy. Everybody, that is, except, Silver. And The Times, which editorialized in favor of Lippman and called him Kaye's "partner in reform." So, why would Paterson opt not to pick Jones and give himself an out?

The speculation machine has cranked into high gear, with some noting Silver's abrupt turnaround on Caroline Kennedy's bid for Hillary Clinton's US Senate seat. Others have suggested that perhaps Paterson really does want to see a complete overhaul of the way high court judges are selected, and it would defeat his purposes to make this controversy go away. Interestingly, earlier today Sen. John Sampson, who is now chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, announced the committee's first order of business will be to hold hearings concerning "the criteria" employed by the Commission on Judicial Nomination during its selection of chief judge candidates. Sampson said he intends to ask members of the commission and its chairman, John O'Mara (a Pataki appointee), how they decided on their final list of candidates and the methods they employed throughout the selection process. "I find it incomprehensible and deeply disturbing that not a single woman appeared on the list of qualified judicial candidates to succeed Judith Kaye, our first female chief judge of the Court of Appeals," Sampson said. "As the birthplace of women's suffrage and civil and political rights, the Commission failed to meet the high standards and great tradition of our state when it failed to include a woman on its list of candidates for our highest court." "Any process that ignores the substantial role women have played in the history of our state and the judicial process is flawed. We need to show a true commitment to providing opportunities for all qualified candidates, particularly women. As Chair of the Judiciary Committee I want to know what went wrong and why, so it cannot be permitted to happen again."


Anonymous said...

Shelly's day is coming..... I hear Joe Bruno has had a thing or two to say to the Feds about good 'ole Shelly. What a mess. What a beautiful mess!! Shake the old rug and the rats go flying!!

Anonymous said...

Oh, come on. Get over it. Silver runs the state and does what he wants. And if you're going to protect your own fat ass, you have to control the courts. And that's Lippman. Pretty simple. Corrupt as hell, but pretty simple.

Anonymous said...

That was before ...'Here He Comes to Save the Day' ...that means that Senator John L. is on the way. On the sea or on the land, He's got the situation well in hand" ....

Ohhh Senator...[*faint*]

Anonymous said...

No really should begin some broader self evaluation.

Don;t forget..their is more to NY state than NYC and Albany....don't underestimate upstate NY and actions pending there.

Unfortuantely for downstate..they get caught up in their messes and forget the turnip truck farmers in the northeast and northwest of the state!

Simple maybe the ease of Silver's game in Albany , but complicated is the state in which his buddies in OCA, are caught up in right upstate NY...and that may turn into new and never proven revelations. I believe that OCA really doesn't know all the information that is gathered against them , but knows what has been manifested is damaging alone!

Those who give up hope, close their minds to sources of value. OCA counts on people like count yourself as one of those they have converted and will soon be tossed with them, by those of us who have found OCA'S path of criminality.

Anonymous said...

All that is, is for Silver.

Anonymous said...

Sheldon Silver needs to go to JAIL, and hopefully Bruno will be the one to help that happen..Their ship is quickly sinking..AW, TOO BAD guys.

Anonymous said...

looks like there are plenty of dots for the feds to connect if they choose to and it appears that career professionals at justice are doing and trying to do just that so that provides some hope right there. just possible some of the dots will connect from florida thru dc to albany to the global economy down to the courts and those selections too. i am having hope in these processes and recommend the same but admittedly have had many phases of no hope and discouragement.

Anonymous said...

Shelly Silver has the fix in and Jonathan (the Lip) Lippman is it. The group that controls the illegal system doesn't want to lose control so Jones doesn't stand a chance. No Black Man Need Apply!

Anonymous said...

It certainly says a lot about Patterson's character, that his approval rating going into this appointment is around zero, and yet he still caves into Silver.

Doesn't he realize that when it come time to elect the new governor, Silver has only one vote?

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