Gubernatorial nominees to the state's judiciary are entitled to a full floor vote in the state Senate, a state Supreme Court judge in Suffolk County said in a ruling Tuesday, siding with Republicans in a case stemming from the effort to force a full floor vote of Gov. Kathy Hochul's nominee to lead the state's top court.

The ruling by Justice Thomas Whelan came less than a week after the full state Senate moved to reject the nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle to become the chief judge of the state Court of Appeals.

Democratic lawmakers held the vote days before arguments were held in the case, brought by state Sen. Anthony Palumbo to force the vote after LaSalle's nomination in January was rejected by the state Senate Judiciary Committee.

Democrats held the vote to short-circuit the lawsuit and preserve the committee process for judicial nominations.

Palumbo had insisted the case was not moot after the full floor vote by the state Senate rejected LaSalle. Whelan agreed, writing the constitutional requirement for Senate confirmation cannot be limited to a committee of only a handful of lawmakers.

"The Senate cannot 'reject' or 'pass' on the govemor's appointment with just 19 members voting," he wrote. "Furthermore, taken to its commonsense extreme, reliance upon the Senate's rule-making authority could permit a rule that authorizes a single member to 'confirm' or 'reject' a govemor's appointment, converting the Senate chamber, the more deliberative body, into a deliberative 'body' of one. Such cannot stand as a hallmark of democracy."

A spokesman for the state Senate Democrats said the ruling was being reviewed. Republicans, meanwhile, celebrated the decision as a victory.

"Today’s decision from Judge Whelan confirms that Senate Democrats once again disregarded the State Constitution to support their partisan objectives. Instead of following the law, Senate Democrats stacked the Judiciary Committee with far-left legislators to defeat a historic Court of Appeals nominee," Senate Minority Leader Robert Ortt said.

Progressive advocates and labor unions had opposed LaSalle's nomination to lead the court, citing his rulings on union issues and criminal justice policy. The rejection was the first time a Court of Appeals nominee had been rejected by the state Senate.

Hochul is now set to choose from another list of seven candidates to nominate to the state Senate. Hochul last week said she was disappointed by the Senate's rejection, calling LaSalle qualified for the job.