ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10)–It was a floor vote with an outcome many democratic lawmakers were anticipating. Judge Hector LaSalle’s nomination for New York State’s chief judge position was rejected like it had been in committee.
LaSalle was in the gallery of the Senate chamber watching the floor vote on his nomination. He declined to speak to reporters.
This vote comes after weeks of uncertainty and questions amongst some lawmakers as to the constitutionally of the nomination being rejected in a committee hearing.
“The constitution says the nomination should come to the floor. That’s what aye without rec says. It we are going to give a recommendation at this moment, but what we are saying in the principle we’re voting in favor of is this nominee should’ve gone to the floor.”
Democrats however disagree.
“The Senate acted constitutionally by following our own set of rules, which, as a separate branch of government, we are in power to create an follow under the state constitution,” Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins said in a press conference.
Although LaSalle was nominated by Democratic Governor, Kathy Hochul, some senators in her own party thought he was too conservative.
Recently, a lawsuit was filed by Republican Senator Anthony Palumbo who wanted the nomination to be brought to the floor of the full Senate.
“We brought the lawsuit that was a distraction,” said Senate Minority Leader, Rob Ortt. “That was the necessity that’s why this happened today and I’m glad we did.”
“We simply cannot waste precious time and resources on endlessly relitigating. Some thing that should’ve been settled weeks ago. That’s why the Senate majority took action to put this manner to rest,” said Stewart-Cousins.
As to when a new chief judge nominee will be picked by the governor, that remains to be seen.