New York – New York Governor Cathy Hochul nominated Hector D. LaSalle Thursday as the next Chief Justice of the New York Supreme Court, making him the most powerful justice in the state and the first Latino to hold the position.
If confirmed by the state Senate, LaSalle would head the seven-member high court and oversee the entire New York judicial system.
In a written statement announcing the nomination, Hochul, a Democrat, described LaSalle as a “prominent jurist” who will focus on “enhancing access to justice for New Yorkers.”
LaSalle said that he was Edwina G. Richard-Mendelson as Chief Administrative Judge to oversee the day-to-day operations of the state court system.
“I am committed to leading the court with integrity and fairness, upholding justice and protecting the rights of New Yorkers,” he said in a written statement.
However, some community and advocacy organizations are calling on MPs to reject her nomination based on some of her past decisions.
“Judge LaSalle’s deeply conservative judicial record includes rulings that are anti-abortion, anti-union and anti-due process,” Peter Martin, director of the advocacy organization Judicial Accountability at the Center for Community Alternatives, said in a written statement. “His decisions make it clear that his judicial philosophy is wrong for New York.”
Born to parents who emigrated from Puerto Rico to Long Island, LaSalle was the first in his family to earn a college degree.
He currently serves as the presiding judge of the Second Department, where he leads the nation’s largest state appellate court with a budget of approximately $69 million. He was appointed to that position in 2021 by then-Gov. Andres Cuomo.
LaSalle will replace Interim Chief Justice Anthony Cannataro, who took over after Janet DiFiore resigned.