Opposition to Judge Hector LaSalle's nomination as chief judge of the New York state Court of Appeals has grown in the nearly two weeks since Gov. Kathy Hochul first announced her selection.
Supporters of Hector LaSalle's nomination are pushing for a confirmation hearing amid opposition to his elevation to chief judge in New York. Democrats say they'll hold one, but doubt it could make much difference.
But as Democrat after Democrat in the state Senate says they can't support him, supporters of LaSalle's like Carol Robles-Roman say critics are cherry picking reasons to vote no.
"In the way that I know judicial selection, the way it is done right, you get a good sense of the body of work," she said. "They didn't select a couple of cases. They selected three."
Robles-Roman, a former deputy New York City mayor in the Bloomberg administration, is part of the group Latinos for LaSalle, which has formed in recent days to boost his nomination for chief judge. Members include current and former elected officials and prominent Latino attorneys all calling for a confirmation hearing to go forward.
"It's also their responsibility not to do superficial vetting, not to allow themselves to be dissuaded by sound bites and tweets," said Robles-Roman, who oversaw legal affairs and judicial appointments.
But LaSalle's opponents are varied, from progressive advocates skeptical of his background as an assistant district attorneys, to labor leaders like Kevin Elkins, the political director of the New York City District Council of Carpenters, who point to a ruling of LaSalle's they consider anti-union.
"To us this is an extensional moment for the labor movement to stand up and say we need to make sure we're not giving the Supreme Court an assist in dismantling worker protections," Elkins said. "Right now, the Supreme Court is doing just fine by themselves."
Democrats, including Judiciary Committee Chairman Brad Hoylman, intend to move forward with a hearing for LaSalle.
"It's our constitutional responsbility, in fact, to provide advice and consent to have a full and fair hearing of the judiciary committee and that's what I intend to do," Hoylman said.
But Hoylman warned in an interview on Tuesday the opposition may be too deep for confirmation, and whether to move forward is up to Hochul. A date for the hearing is yet to be set.
"This is a very narrow pathway if one exists at all," Hoylman said. "That said, this is completely the governor's decision, which I and my colleagues respect, to advance the nomination."