Democratic legislators revolt over Gov. Kathy Hochul’s pick of Hector LaSalle

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Gov. Kathy Hochul has been embroiled in a bitter feud with Democratic state senators, and Thursday’s nomination of centrist Hector LaSalle as chief of the state appeals court could lead to a political “carnage.” predicted to have potential.

Latinos are celebrating the nomination of the first non-white person to head the state’s Supreme Court — but a growing number of progressives believe that LaSalle is a former prosecutor for law and order and has been accused of abortion and labor law. I’m annoyed that I’m not left-wing enough on important topics such as…rights.

While Latinos celebrate the nomination of the first non-white person to head the state’s Supreme Court, a growing number of progressives believe that LaSalle has spoken out on major topics such as abortion and workers’ rights. He said he wasn’t left-wing enough.

“There will be carnage here,” a legislative source told the Post on Friday. “This is going to get really ugly.”

The escalating rivalry between Rep. Ho Chul and Democratic Party lawmakers was already approaching historic proportions by Friday afternoon.

“After careful consideration of the candidate, I cannot help but conclude that he is regressive on issues affecting women’s rights, labor issues and climate change. I disagree with Judge LaSalle.” said Sen. Rachel May, Syracuse Democrat. murmured Friday morning.

Progressives say past court rulings show LaSalle is too far to the right to be chief justice.
New York Bar Association

Some progressives are against Lassalle. LaSalle’s appointment as his fourth former prosecutor to the seven-member Court of Appeal, given his 12-year tenure in Congress, will be a disservice to criminal justice reformers for years to come. Because it becomes

The left-handed lawmakers say LaSalle’s career as a leading gang prosecutor and deputy director of the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office’s Special Investigations Division hardly fits into their determined vision for the Empire State.

“This week she tried to push for a rollback of bail reform and named a former prosecutor to the Supreme Court. No to,” Senator Jabari Brisport of a Socialist State Tweeted.

Many of LaSalle’s opponents also focused on several controversial rulings while serving in the Second Division of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn.

One of the cases that drew a lot of heat from the highlights on the left involved so-called “pregnancy crisis centers” that were supposedly practicing medicine illegally while urging women to avoid abortions.

Senator Eric Schneiderman then said that the center “disguised itself as a clinic, requested medical histories from clients, performed pregnancy tests and ultrasounds, estimated gestational age, and assessed fetal health.” ,” according to a 2017 decision by LaSalle to block subpoenas by his office.

The court ruled that his request, without passing judgment on abortion itself, was “not sufficiently tailored to serve the persuasive research purposes for which it was issued,” and that the Nonprofit Center’s First Amendment It was ruled that he had violated the right of the article.

In another case that collected LaSalle’s heat from the library, he supported a search of the vehicle by police who found weapons that some liberals objected to.

“No illegal searches, no vague waivers. [of the suspects ability to appeal] It’s bothering Judge LaSalle,’ read a letter sent to Hochol earlier this month from dozens of law school professors opposing LaSalle’s nomination.

Labor leaders also allow Cablevision to sue union leaders who criticized its response to Hurricane Sandy, despite years of legal protections meant to protect organized workers. points to a 2015 lawsuit that

John Buonora, an adjunct professor at the University of Touro who has known LaSalle for decades, said of criticism of some of the decisions involving LaSalle, “It would be very unfair if we had to reclassify him. I would call him a moderate.

“Sometimes people read too much into decisions instead of trying to understand why decisions were made the way they were made,” he added.

For some Democrats, LaSalle may be too centrist or business-friendly, but his supporters say he’s liberal enough.

“This is a historic appointment that marks the culmination of a life of steadfast civil rights advocacy,” said Tracey Edwards, Long Island Director of the NAACP New York State Conference.

But LaSalle’s supporters, while defending him amid mounting criticism, rely specifically on his ethnic identity.

“Governor. Ho-Chol’s nomination for Hong. Hector D. LaSalle’s appointment as Chief Justice of the New York State Court of Appeals is a testament to her consistent efforts to bring diversity to the leadership role in the state’s court system.” A clear indicator.

Ho-chol needs 32 of the 63 senators to support the nomination, but 9 of 43 Democrats have already said they would vote against the former Long Island prosecutor.

If 11 or more Democrats vote against Hochul, if Hochul’s nomination somehow passes the Judiciary Committee, LaSalle will need to get Republican votes to get a majority in the House. there is.

Key figures in the nomination process, including Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins ​​(D-Yonkers) and Judiciary Committee Chairman Brad Hoyleman (D-Manhattan), are still unclear on how they will vote. not to

However, influential trade unions such as the AFL-CIO and 32BJ voiced their opposition to LaSalle because of the court’s ideological leanings.

Progressives are also emboldened to speak out against LaSalle after former Nassau District Attorney Madeleine Singhas offered little resistance to being nominated by the disgraced former government. Andrew Cuomo appeared in court despite criticism that her indictment record pushed the Court of Appeals to the right.

Former Chief Justice Janet DiFiore, who unexpectedly resigned a few months ago amidst an ethics inquiry, has been outspoken for years about the court’s shift to the right despite New York’s reputation as a progressive stronghold. He faced criticism all the time.

Some Democrats hoped her downfall would lead to a Chief Justice pushing the state’s judiciary in a more progressive direction.

“The Court of Appeals can and should protect New Yorkers and defend the rule of law to act as a bulwark against such federal attacks. But under Chief Justice Janet DiFiore, Neither,” read an August letter from a progressive advocacy group to Ho-chul.

LaSalle was one of seven candidates for the office of Chief Justice selected by a commission empowered by state law to screen potential lawyers for governor’s nomination.

Hochul with a mic
Despite the backlash, Hochul is sticking with LaSalle for now.
Matthew McDermott

But some Republicans may be more receptive to his legal track record than progressive Republicans, especially given that Ho-chul could nominate someone more left-leaning if LaSalle’s nomination fails. .

However, some members of the Republican Senate minority are in no rush to help Ho-chul, leaving them with no choice.

“I have to review his background and reserve judgment. But from what I’ve heard, he doesn’t appear to be qualified for the position,” said Senator George Bolero ( Republican-Jamestown) told The Post.

“Would I vote for him? No…we want to make sure the individual is qualified for the job.”

Republican Minority Leader Robert Ort (Republican, North Tonawanda) could not be reached for comment Friday on whether he would be open to urging members of his Congress to endorse LaSalle for the presidency.

Ho-chul told reporters on Friday that she’s sticking with LaSalle despite mounting backlash and the possibility of having to appear before the Republican Party in January.

“I stand with him. I’m proud of this choice,” Hochul said at a North Korean press conference. I recommend it to everyone.”

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