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NY Gov. To Nominate First Openly LGBT Judge To High Court

16 June 2017

With U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, left and Lt. Governor Bob Duffy, right in attendance Sheila Abdus-Salaam, left, was sworn in by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman as the first African-American woman judge of the New York State Court of Appeals June 20, 2013 in the Court of Appeals Chamber in Albany, N.Y.

Andrew Cuomo has tapped a veteran judge to serve on the state's highest court.

Cuomo says Feinman is a talented jurist dedicated to public service.

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Cuomo announced the decision in an appearance on NY1 this afternoon.

Feinman, a Manhattan-based associate justice for the state Appellate Division, was one of seven finalists for the vacancy on the state Court of Appeals, the highest state court in NY. He was elected to the Supreme Court in New York County in 2007 and appointed to the Appellate Division (New York's midlevel appeals court) in 2012.

The Democratic governor praised Feinman's history on the bench, noting he worked his was up from a city civil court judge.

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If he's confirmed by the state Senate, Feinman would replace Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam, who died earlier this year in what police said was likely a suicide.

Feinman would fill the spot vacated following the death of Judge Sheila Abdus-Salaam in April. The Legislature is scheduled to end its annual legislative session on Wednesday.

"I think it's long overdue that the court reflect the true diversity of the state and I think it is a great day for the court and the state", Assemblyman Matthew Titone (D-Staten Island), one of the group, said about Feinman's nomination. The circumstances surrounding her death remain a mystery.

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NY Gov. To Nominate First Openly LGBT Judge To High Court