As a member of the Judiciary Committee, Bonacic said that he has reviewed eight Court of Appeals nominations and never before voted against a nomination. He said several other candidates recommended by the Commission on Judicial Nomination were better qualified than Rivera.
"To put someone who has such narrow legal experience on the high court...and pass over those highly qualified nominees is not something I can support," Bonacic said.
Also on the list were: Appellate Division, First Department, Justice Rolando Acosta (See Profile); Kathy Chin, a partner at Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft; Appellate Division, Fourth Department, Justice Eugene Fahey (See Profile); Margarita Rosa, executive director of the Grand Street Settlement; Appellate Division, First Department, Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam (See Profile); and David Schulz, a partner at Levine, Sullivan, Koch & Shultz.
DeFrancisco said Rivera is simply not the best qualified person.
"This is not the best candidate, period," DeFrancisco said.
But more than a dozen senators praised Rivera and said she was the best candidate.
Jenny Rivera appears at a news conference with Governor Andrew Cuomo after her confirmation to the Court of Appeals. Tim Roske
At a post-confirmation press conference, Cuomo said Rivera's qualifications are "incomparable," and her resume demonstrates a lifelong commitment to public interest law.
"I believe she is going to make a great court a greater court," Cuomo said. "Jenny's perspective is going to make that court a stronger court. She is the quintessential public service lawyer and she has done great public service law all her life and when it comes to problems facing New Yorkersimmigrants, working families, people with civil rights issues, people who are victims of discrimination, people who are victims of predatory lendingshe knows the reality that people are dealing with and she knows what the body of the law says....People need to know that their perspective was brought to the table when a decision was made."
Cuomo said the one thing lacking from Rivera's resume, experience at a Wall Street law firm, speaks volumes of her commitment to using the law to help people rather than enhancing her own wealth.