ALBANY, NY—Yesterday, State Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Brad Hoylman-Sigal (D-Manhattan) told reporters, “‘I hope we have made it clear moving forward that we will not accept the [Court of Appeals] nomination of judges who run on [the Conservative Party] line.’” Stephen P. Hayford, Esq., Legislative Director of New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms, made the following remarks:
“Sen. Hoylman-Sigal’s admission that he will refuse to consider any Court of Appeals nominee who ever received the endorsement of the Conservative Party is consistent with other unfortunate behavior engaged in by the Senator in connection with the nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle to the position of Chief Judge. Over the past week, Sen. Hoylman-Sigal’s words and conduct have made it clear that he lacks the character and temperament to chair the Senate Judiciary Committee.”
Hayford continued, “During the LaSalle confirmation hearing, Sen. Hoylman-Sigal inappropriately told Justice LaSalle, a Democrat, that his acceptance of the Conservative Party’s cross-endorsement in 2008 was ‘hurtful’ because the Party disagrees with the Senator’s position on the Marriage Equality Act. When Sen. Anthony Palumbo moved to forward the LaSalle nomination to the full Senate, Sen. Hoylman-Sigal ignored him and adjourned the hearing. Later, Sen. Hoylman-Sigal laid out his litmus test for future Court of Appeals nominees: Conservative Party endorsees need not apply. While the Senator later clarified that he had spoken only for himself and not for his fellow Senate Democrats, he doubled down on his own position, acknowledging that he had drawn a ‘bright line’ against confirming Conservative Party endorsees. Sen. Hoylman-Sigal went on to characterize the Conservative Party platform as anti-woman.”
Hayford concluded, “Every judicial nominee should be evaluated based upon his or her experience, ability, judicial philosophy, and temperament. Litmus tests that disqualify nominees based on their party affiliations should be repugnant to all New Yorkers. Sen. Hoylman-Sigal’s evident animus toward persons and political parties who disagree with his views is eerily reminiscent of disgraced former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2014 declaration that so-called ‘extreme conservatives’ have ‘no place in the state of New York.’ By expressing and embracing this animus, the Senator has disqualified himself from continuing in his current role.”
New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms is a statewide organization that advocates on behalf of New York’s evangelical Christian community.