Hochul appoints LaSalle as New York's head judge
Nick Reisman reports for New York State of Politics on Dec. 22 Gov. Kathy Hochul nominated Judge Hector LaSalle to lead New York's top court and oversee its sprawling court system, and Judge Edwina Richardson-Mendelson was nominated as the chief administrative judge. LaSalle would be the first Latino judge to lead the Court of Appeals, if confirmed. Hochul crowed about her picks. "New York's Court of Appeals has a long history as a beacon of justice, and Judge LaSalle is an outstanding jurist in that tradition. He has the skills, experience, and intellect to ensure that our highest court is seen as a leader across the country," Hochul said. "Judge LaSalle has a sterling reputation as a consensus-builder, and I know he can unite the court in service of justice. He has effectively led the largest state appellate court in the country, and in partnership with Judge Richardson-Mendelson, I know he will be focused on expanding access to justice for New Yorkers. Our state courts are more important now than ever when it comes to protecting our rights and upholding New York values, and I know that Judge LaSalle will lead the court in doing just that." LaSalle has served as the presiding justice of the Second Department since 2021, and is excited about the new job. "I am humbled by Governor Hochul's nomination, and I thank her for this tremendous honor. I am committed to leading the Court with integrity and fairness, upholding justice, and protecting the rights of New Yorkers," LaSalle said. "If confirmed, I plan to appoint the Honorable Edwina G. Richardson-Mendelson to serve as Chief Administrative Judge, and I would be honored to work with her to get our courts functioning as efficiently and effectively as possible for the betterment of all New Yorkers." LaSalle would replace former Chief Judge Janet DiFiore, an appointee of former Gov. Andrew Cuomo who resigned amid a judicial conduct investigation. Read more about this story at New York State of Politics.