Judicial Comission on Nominees: ‘Our Record Speaks for Itself’

ALBANY—The counsel for the Commission on Judicial Nomination, which yesterday released seven candidates to replace retiring Chief Judge Judith Kaye, said he cannot comment on specific deliberations of the group before it nominated an all-male, mostly white slate.

"I'm not going to comment except to say except to say that our record speaks for itself, in terms of the broad range of judges that are on the court now that have gone through the nominating process," said Stephen Younger, an attorney at Patterson Belknap Webb & Tyler.

David Paterson, who is obligated to choose from the list of names presented to him, said yesterday the lack of diversity is "disturbing." Today, others includeing State Senator Ruben Diaz Sr. and Senator-elect Hiram Monserrate jumped on the bandwagon.

Senate Minority Leader Malcolm Smith said in a public statement, "The lack of diversity among the recommendations by the New York State Commission on Judicial Nominations is disappointing. In the most diverse state in the country, home to the United Nations, the absence of a woman or any Latinos on the list of possibilities is inexplicable and unrepresentative of the population of New York State."

For all the rhetoric, it appears the governor's hands are constitutionally tied (Article 6, Sec. 2).