Governor Andrew Cuomo’s nominee to fill a vacancy on the state Court of Appeals could mark the first time there has been an openly gay judge on New York’s top court.
On Thursday, Cuomo nominated mid-level appellate judge Paul Feinman to replace Sheila Abdus-Salaam who passed away earlier this year.
Feinman has served on the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges and as president of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association of Greater New York.
— amNewYork (@amNewYork) June 15, 2017
He started his career as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society of Nassau County, worked as an assistant district attorney in Manhattan and a law clerk before being elected as a New York City civil court judge in 1996. He was elected to the State Supreme Court in New York County in 2007 and appointed to the Appellate Division in 2012.
NewsDay reports Cuomo said that Feinman, “a talented jurist who has dedicated his career to public service and standing up for a fairer and more just New York,” would make “an exceptional addition to New York’s highest court.”
Feinman would have to be approved by the Republican-led Senate but it is unclear whether it will do so before the end of the regular 2016 legislative session next Wednesday.
According to the Times Union, Senator John Bonacic, the Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said he was in “no rush” to confirm the nomination.
However, the Senate has never rejected a Cuomo selection.