A push for more state Supreme Court Justices
ALBANY, NY (WENY)-- In New York, the state constitution caps the amount of state Supreme Court Justices. Some New York State lawmakers want to change this--saying the limit on justices is causing a significant backlog of trials.
“It’s clear that we have an overburdened court system and that we need to have more judges in place to be able to handle the caseload. It’s really simple to me and I think there’s no reason that we should not be doing this,” said Sen. Andrew Gounardes (D-26th Senate District).
Some Democratic lawmakers agree.
“It’s time to give the legislature the ability to set the number of justices on the Supreme Court the same way we can already set the number of judges on any other New York court,” said Assembly Member Alex Bores (D-Assembly District 73).
Some Republican lawmakers who voted against this legislation, said the opposite--concerned with giving the legislature decision-making power on this issue.
“I think this could be manipulative for political reasons quite honestly. This is essentially trying to stack the state Supreme Court in favor of one party,” said Sen. George Borrello (R-57th Senate District).
In New York, state Supreme Court Justices are elected by voters through general election ballots to serve 14 year terms.
If passed, this constitutional amendment would allow New York state lawmakers to remove the state's cap on the number of Supreme Court Justices in any judicial district.
This legislation passed the Senate in the most recent legislative session, but not the Assembly. If it passes both houses in the next session, it will have to pass again in the following 2025 legislative session and then go to the voters.