Court of Appeals of New York State: The Judges, the Selection Process, Making the Current Court and Some Recent Decisions on Governance
50 Pages Posted: 9 Jun 2008 Last revised: 31 Mar 2009
Date Written: October 15, 2007
This is one of the more recent presentations among several delivered over the past few years at the Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, New York by Professor Vincent M. Bonventre on the New York Court of Appeals, the state's highest court. This presentation explores the ideological composition of the court through an analysis of the judges' voting patterns in criminal law decisions. It then examines and critiques the merit selection process through which governors make appointments to the court. Finally, the presentation details the making of the current court through the gubernatorial appointments of Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, and Eliot Spitzer. The result is a more conservative, law and order court, with Republican Pataki appointees now constituting a majority, and liberal Democratic Cuomo appointees constituting a shrinking minority.
Keywords: New York State Court of Appeals, Judith Kaye, Mario Cuomo, George Pataki, judicial selection, merit appointment,, criminal law, state court
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