Faculty Notes

Prof. James Sample Quoted in Politico New York’s Public Law Report Story on New York’s Judicial Selection Process

James Sample , Professor of Law

POLITICO New York’s Public Law Report: Judicial selection “charade”; Cuomo talks executive order
By Colby Hamilton
Sept. 4, 2015


The process of deciding which judges join the trial court bench is one Hofstra Law School professor James Sample said is conducted in two steps to remove the voters: Party leaders largely control who becomes a judicial delegate for late September’s judicial convention. Then, after appropriate candidates are tapped at the convention, party leaders in areas of the state where elections are competitive agree to cross-endorse.

In areas where there are no competing parties, the process is even more tightly controlled, Sample said.

“If you’re the party leader of the Brooklyn Democratic party, you basically have unchecked power to install a judge of your choosing by deploying the party apparatus to, in essence, control the convention process,” he said.

He called the system “ridiculous” and “unique.”

“No other state has ever adopted the process that New York has had, going back decades and decades,” Sample said.

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