Professor James Sample was quoted in the Sept. 7, 2016, WNYC News story “The Power and Prestige of Being a New York Judge.” He commented about the power that party leaders wield in the nomination of New York Supreme Court justices.
Supreme Court justices in New York earn close to $200,000 a year, and serve 14-year terms. Because the key decisions on nominees are made before Election Day, party leaders are the gatekeepers for those plum posts. The power to deliver a prestigious, lucrative, stable job that “comes with a whole lot of prestige is a significant power to be able to bestow,” said James Sample, a professor of law at Hofstra University.
Professor Sample was also quoted in a related WNYC News story that aired on Sept. 8, “ ‘Smoke-Filled Rooms’ Still Rule New York Judicial Elections.” He commented about the lawsuit that Margarita Lopez Torres brought against the New York board of elections, for which he was a member of her legal team.
Excerpt:[Brooklyn Democrat] Vito Lopez told her that to be considered for a nomination, she would need to hire his daughter as a law clerk in her court. She declined. “For rejecting that overture, she was in essence blackballed,” says James Sample, a professor at Hofstra University.