Governor Nominates First Openly Gay Judge To New York's High Court

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has tapped a veteran judge to serve on the state's highest court.

According to officials in Cuomo's office, Feinman was president of the International Association of LGBT Judges between 2008 and 2011, and according to the state courts' website, he is the former president of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Bar Association of Greater New York and a member of the National LGBT Bar Association.

Cuomo also expressed skepticism that the state legislature will renew Mayor Bill de Blasio's control of city schools, raising the possibility that a decentralized board of education could re-emerge in running the school system. During an interview on the cable news station NY1, Cuomo praised Feinman's abilities.

Cuomo's nominee would have to be approved by the Republican-led Senate, which has never rejected a Cuomo selection. The nomination must be confirmed by the state Senate.

"We are really squeezed", Bonacic said, noting the Senate has several other Cuomo nominations to consider before the session ends.

He was elected a New York City judge in 1996. He was appointed by Cuomo in 2012 to serve as an associate justice of the appellate division of the Supreme Court in Manhattan.

Abdus-Salaam, who was the first African-American woman to serve on the Court of Appeals, was found floating in the Hudson River in April. Authorities have called her death a likely suicide, .

In nominating Feinman, Cuomo fulfilled the wishes of a group of openly gay state lawmakers who wrote to Cuomo earlier this month arguing that it was time for New York's highest court to have an openly gay justice.

  • Zachary Reyes