So I was so unaware of who Hector LaSalle was and why anyone would rejected his candidacy to lead New York’s highest court last week.
I assumed I would not be behind him since Gov. Kathy Hochul chose him for the vacant seat in Albany.
I then learned that the very progressive wing of the state Democrats did not want him to be selected by Hochul. Then after Wednesday’s Judiciary Committee 10-9 losing vote when Hochul became the first governor in state history to have a judicial nomination voted down by the state Senate panel, I knew he might be the right choice.
Republicans and Conservative state senators are backing LaSalle for the position due to his moderate positions on bail reform and sentencing.
The confirmation hearing marked the first time that LaSalle has publicly defended his record following weeks of attacks by progressives who want a left-leaning jurist to take the relatively moderate Court of Appeals in a new direction.
“This is a very big deal,” three-term Republican Gov. George Pataki said. “It’s a question of who we have running the state — the governor or radical leftists in the legislature.”
Senate Democrats say the 10-9 committee vote is the end of the road for LaSalle and Hochul’s bid to make him the first Latino to lead New York’s judiciary, setting the stage for a fight in the courts.
The next step may be for Hochul to sue the state Senate in order to make the entire Senate vote on LaSalle’s nomination and not just the Judiciary Committee.