Commission on Judicial Nomination is seeking recommendations and applications for Chief Judge of the New York Court of Appeals and State of New York.

On February 17, the Commission on Judicial Nomination received a letter from the Clerk of the Court of Appeals, formally advising that the vacancy created by the resignation of Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, effective August 31, 2022, continues to exist, given the Senate’s rejection of the candidate nominated by the Governor.  The Commission thus takes up the task again of seeking recommendations and applications of persons who may be qualified to serve as Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals, as well as Chief Judge of the State of New York.

Candidates who have not previously applied for this vacancy may download application forms from the Commission’s website (www.nysegov.com/cjn) or contact the Commission’s Counsel, Henry M. Greenberg, c/o Greenberg Traurig, LLP, 54 State Street, 6th Floor, Albany, New York 12208 [Tel.: (518) 689-1492; e-mail: greenbergh@gtlaw.com; Fax: (518) 689-1499].  Applications may be filed electronically by e-mailing them to CJN_Applications@gtlaw.com or submitted by mail to the Commission’s Counsel.  Applications must be submitted to the Commission no later than March 7, 2023.

All candidates who previously applied for the Chief Judge vacancy will again be considered by the Commission.  They need not resubmit their prior application materials.  

As required by law, the Commission has 120 days to nominate and recommend to the governor seven well-qualified candidates for the Chief Judge vacancy.  The Commission is mindful, however, of the novel circumstances presented and the need to swiftly fill the vacancy.  Accordingly, the Commission will work to promptly discharge its Constitutional and statutory responsibilities.

The Commission was created by Article 6, § 2 of the New York State Constitution. Consistent with its mandate, the Commission is entrusted with responsibility for evaluating, and then recommending to the Governor, candidates to fill vacancies on the Court of Appeals. The Commission vigorously seeks out, carefully evaluates and then shall nominate to the Governor candidates for the office of Chief Judge from the extraordinary, diverse community of lawyers admitted to practice in New York State for at least ten years. The Governor’s appointment is subject to confirmation by the New York State Senate.

To fill past judicial vacancies on the Court, the Commission has nominated to the Governor a wide variety of lawyers, including private practitioners, public interest attorneys, law professors, government officials and sitting Federal and State judges. While prospective candidates must file an application with the Commission, recommendations may be made by anyone who believes that a prospective candidate could be an excellent Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals and the State of New York. Recommendations of qualified candidates for a vacancy are encouraged and may be made to the Commission’s Counsel.

If any person or organization wishes to receive copies of future Commission press releases, please provide an e-mail or mailing address to the Commission’s Counsel. The Commission will register the address and make every effort to distribute future press releases in the designated manner. Persons interested in learning more about the Commission are encouraged to visit its website: www.nysegov.com/cjn.

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