Is the Hochul High Court decision a compromise – or a sell-out?

Hmm: Governor Kathy Hochul appears to be hoping to compromise with the hard left’s drive to control New York’s Supreme Court.

Or maybe it’s a sellout.

To recap, the left-wing leadership of the State Senate orchestrated a humiliating rejection of their first nominee for chief justice, Hector LaSalle — first stacking the Judiciary Committee with new progressive members to finish the nomination on the committee, and then (as she was eventually forced to allow it). a vote on the floor), intimidating even Democrats who would normally have supported him in voting “no.”

In doing so, they have devised a new litmus test: no more appeals court judges who were previously prosecutors, allegedly by doing so they are biased against accused criminals.

In fact, the concern was simply that LaSalle – a fully liberal moderate Dem – would not side with the left when the written law clearly said otherwise.

Hochul gives in at least halfway through with her new choice for chief justice: solid left-wing Justice Rowan Wilson, best known for siding with Happy the Elephant’s “right” to seek release from the Bronx Zoo.

(Of course, it was actually self-proclaimed animal rights extremists who brought the lawsuit.)

But elevating him to Chief Justice does not change the balance in the High Court, now 3-3 between Liberals and Left: the deciding vote would then be with Wilson’s replacement as Associate Justice.

A view of the New York State Court of Appeals building.
Wilson is best known for siding with Happy the Elephant to demand his release from the Bronx Zoo.

For this seat, the government is offering Caitlin Halligan, a former attorney general who is widely considered to be quite liberal but not…crazy-left – who was also close with Hochul.

Which brings us to our “sell-out” fear: This comes because Hochul just filed a brief supporting the lawsuit to give the Dem-dominated Legislature another attempt to manipulate New York’s home districts.

After the 2020 census, the Dems (contrary to the state constitution) created a map to lock Republicans in just four of the 26 seats in New York’s House of Representatives.

And Hochul welcomed it, citing her party allegiance.

State courts rejected this power play and appointed a special master to create a fair, impartial map (just as voters intended when they changed the New York Constitution).

The Court of Appeals upheld that decision, and the GOP ended extraction House spots last fall for a total of 12.

The difference is why Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-B’klyn) is now the House Minority Leader, not the Speaker.

And by all accounts, Jeffries is asking state lawmakers to “fix” things.

What makes us concerned that a unspoken Part of Hochul’s compromise before the Supreme Court is the expectation that Halligan will side with the Dems when the lawsuit finally gets to the Court of Appeals.

Then the legislature will impose a less obvious gerrymander for the Democrats to regain “their” seats next year.

Every faction in the Democratic Party will be happy, and that’s all that matters in Albany these days.


DUSTIN JONES is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. DUSTIN JONES joined USTimeToday in 2021 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with DUSTIN JONES by emailing

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