Morinello Calls for Fair and Honest Hearing for Judge Hector Lasalle

As a retired judge of 14 years who had to go through a very rigorous vetting process in order to be nominated, I am appalled with how the nomination of Justice Hector LaSalle to New York’s highest court has unfolded with complete disrespect for the judicial process. Far-left Majority has completely thrown out decorum and have resorted to the “character assassination” game we have seen at the level of the federal Supreme Court for Justices Brett Kavanaugh and Amy Coney Barrett.

In New York state, the governor appoints each new judge from a list of qualified nominees submitted by a judicial nominating commission. The nominee must be confirmed by the Senate. We have not even had the hearing yet and members of the Majority caucuses in both the Senate and Assembly are calling for Hochul’s nomination of Judge Hector LaSalle to be removed from consideration.

In case any of my colleagues in the Legislature have forgotten, judges do not rule on their own political, spiritual, religious or personal viewpoints. Judges follow five strict canons of judicial ethics:

Canon 1: A Judge Should Uphold the Integrity and Independence of the Judiciary.

Canon 2: A Judge Should Avoid Impropriety and the Appearance of Impropriety in All Activities.

Canon 3: A Judge Should Perform the Duties of the Office Fairly, Impartially and Diligently.

Canon 4: A Judge May Engage in Extrajudicial Activities That are Consistent with the Obligations of Judicial Office.

Canon 5: A Judge Should Refrain from Political Activity.

This code of ethics is sworn under oath and before God so no personal or foreign influence is made with the judge’s decision of a case.

We need to get back to a state, and country, for that matter, where appointed officials are given a fair process to ensure quality candidates are not embarrassed, degraded and disrespected in front of the entire world. Judge LaSalle deserves a fair hearing before the Senate without any predisposition. Any legislator who has their mind made up already is not following their own oath to serve their constituents and abide by the state constitution.