ALBANY, N.Y. -- The state Senate unanimously approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nomination of Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore as the next chief judge of the state Court of Appeals, New York's highest court on Thursday.
DiFiore has served as Westchester district attorney since 2006. The Democrat is a former Republican.
"State Sen. David Carlucci, a Democrat who represents parts of Westchester and Rockland counties, said, "I congratulate Westchester County resident Janet DiFiore on her confirmation to serve as Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals."
"This appointment to head our state's highest court is the culmination of Judge DiFiore's highly distinguished career in public service," Carlucci said. "I am confident she will work tirelessly to ensure justice for all New Yorkers for years to come."
On Wednesday, DiFiore answered questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee before its unanimous vote sent her nomination to the full Senate.
State Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye, who serves on the Judiciary Committee, told Daily Voice: "Judge DiFiore has proven, over three decades, that she has the legal skills, the administrative experience and the judicial temperament necessary to do an exceptional job as Chief Judge."
On Dec. 1, 2015, Gov. Cuomo, a resident of New Castle, nominated DiFiore after months of speculation that DiFiore was a leading candidate for the opening on the Court of Appeals. Cuomo faced a deadline to name a successor for Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70..
DiFiore was among seven candidates for the opening. Only one other woman has served as chief judge: the late Judith Kaye who died on Jan. 7 at the age of 77. She was a native of Monticello.
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