After the Storm, a Commitment to Diverse Judges

ALBANY—The Commission on Judicial Nomination has posted a new set of criteria for selecting potential candidates, including a specific declaration of the benefits of diversity.

These new rules come after a tiff earlier this year that the Commission's slate of potential candidates–from which the governor is legally obliged to select judges for the Court of Appeals–was not diverse because it included no women.

There was talk of legislative action (hearings! task forces!) but ultimately, Paterson appointed his ally Judith Kaye, the Court of Appeals retired chief judge, to lead the panel in May. These draft criteria are the result.

A commission spokesman said they were developed in consultation with various legal groups and will be published in the State Register. Here's subdivision 7100.8, section (e), the "commitment to diversity."

The commission is committed to considering nominees for the Court of Appeals with outstanding personal and professional qualifications who reflect the diversity of New York's communities including, but not limited to, diversity in race, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation and geography. A diverse Judiciary ensures that a broad array of perspectives and experiences are brought to the bench; reinforces public trust and confidence in the fairness of the justice system and the administration of justice; and ultimately enhances the delivery of justice and the Judiciary's credibility and moral authority.