Report: Bill to close ‘lobbying loophole’ for judicial nominations advances in NY Senate

May 18, 2023 Rob Abruzzese
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In an effort to increase transparency surrounding judicial nominations, State Senate Democrats have advanced a bill to mandate reporting of lobbying activities in such cases.

This comes after the contested nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle for New York’s Chief Judge earlier this year, which saw undisclosed lobbying efforts from both supporters and opponents, as initially reported by the Times Union.

If passed, the bill would require detailed reports on lobbying done for any state office nominations, including judicial appointments. The legislation is part of a wider package introduced by Senate Democrats aiming to enhance judicial oversight and accountability.

The LaSalle nomination sparked interest from outside groups such as “Latinos for LaSalle” and “Citizens for Judicial Fairness,” who rallied in support, and the Center for Community Alternatives, who lobbied against the nomination. Despite these efforts, LaSalle’s nomination was ultimately rejected by the state Senate in a historic first.

“Citizens have a right to know where that money is coming from,” State Senate Deputy Majority Leader Michael Gianaris, the bill’s sponsor, told the Times Union. The legislation now awaits review in the State Assembly’s Governmental Operations Committee.

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