Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) has appointed all seven justices on New York’s court of last resort

A court of last resort is the highest judicial body within a jurisdiction’s court system. It is a court with the highest appellate authority, meaning that its rulings are not subject to further review by another court. A court of last resort is often, but not always, referred to as a supreme court.

New York is one of those states which does not refer to their court of last resort as a supreme court. This can cause some confusion, as New York’s 62 highest general jurisdiction trial courts are named collectively the Supreme Court of the State of New York.

Founded in 1847, the New York Court of Appeals is the state’s court of last resort and has seven judgeships. As of September 2019, all seven justices on the court were appointed by Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), the 56th governor of New York. The current chief of the court is Janet DiFiore. The other six justices are Rowan Wilson, Michael Garcia, Leslie E. Stein, Eugene Fahey, Jenny Rivera, and Paul G. Feinman.

The seven justices of the New York Court of Appeals serve 14-year terms. New York uses a form of assisted appointment when selecting its justices for the Court of Appeals. Justices are appointed by the governor from a list of candidates provided by the New York Commission on Judicial Nomination. After appointment by the governor, candidates must get confirmation from the New York Senate.

Additional Reading:
Court of last resort
Judicial selection in New York
Andrew Cuomo
Assisted appointment




About the author

Luke Seeley

Luke Seeley is a staff writer at Ballotpedia. Contact us at editor@ballotpedia.org.

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