Barclay statement on New York’s judicial nomination process

ALBANY, NY —  Statement from Assembly Minority Leader Will Barclay (R-Pulaski):

“Rules aren’t supposed to change in the middle of the game. But the longer Democrats are in power, the more it seems to happen in Albany. The process of nominating a new chief judge has turned into a blatant attempt by New York Democrats to circumvent existing law, accumulate more political power and undermine the credibility of the court.

Filling vacancies on the Court of Appeals is a serious endeavor. Democrats have used it as an opportunity to approve judges based on a political litmus test rather than qualifications and merit. They advanced a questionable new law and are poised to throw out another in an obvious attempt to make an independent process more political.

There are legitimate problems and constitutional questions with legislation allowing two judges to be chosen from a single list of nominees. Now, in yet another power grab, Senate Democrats want to abandon the Commission on Judicial Nomination entirely.

We’re supposed to be operating as three separate branches of government and utilize existing mechanisms that provide a level of independence. The confirmation of two jurists to the state’s highest court is finally behind us. What’s been made clear from this process and the proposed changes to future nominations is that partisan political interests are the highest priority for New York Democrats.”