The state Senate is slated to consider the nomination of Court of Appeals candidate Jenny Rivera this afternoon at 3. Live-streaming of the vote will be available on the Senate website at http://www.nysenate.gov/live_today.
Rivera, 52, was nominated by Governor Andrew Cuomo to succeed Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick on the high court, but her nomination has been uniquely controversial. Several Republican senators have complained that Rivera, a City University of New York law school professor, lacks the experience necessary to serve on the Court of Appeals, and the Judiciary Committee advanced her nomination to the floor without recommendation.
Cuomo has said he is confident Rivera, who had worked briefly for him in the attorney general's office, will be confirmed as his first appointee to the Court of Appeals. Rivera does not have judicial experience, although she was an administrative law judge for about nine months in the early 1990s.
Cuomo selected Rivera from a list of seven candidates found well-qualified by the Commission on Judicial Nomination, a panel with members appointed by the governor, the Legislature and chief judge.
The commission, chaired by former Chief Judge Judith Kaye, now of counsel to Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom, conducted extensive outreach in seeking applicants and its efforts resulted in the highest number of applications ever (75), the most female applicants (35) and the most minority applicants (24).
Joining Rivera on the list were: Appellate Division, First Department, Justice Rolando Acosta; Kathy Chin, a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; Appellate Division, Fourth Department, Justice Eugene Fahey; Margarita Rosa, executive director of the Grand Street Settlement; and Appellate Division, First Department, Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam.