Saturday, September 24, 2016

NY Post: Democrats put Asian/American judge on the ballot

IN AN UNUSUAL reversal of a decision made by its own screening panel, the Manhattan Democratic Party will nominate Doris Ling-Cohan to be put on the ballot for re-election as a state Supreme Court justice this fall at the party’s Sept. 22 convention, according to the New York Post.

Her name will appear on the ballot in November.

The screening panel had found Ling-Cohan not qualified for re-election — setting off a protest leading critics to question the Manhattan Democratic Party's selection process.

“The panel did not follow its rules in regards to considering incumbents,” Curtis Arluck, chairman of the party’s judicial committee, told The Post on Sunday.

Critics, including some members of the  22-member screening panel, said that there was clearly a conflict of interest among some panelists who voted against the Asian/American jurist.

Ling-Cohan, who in 2002 became the first Asian woman elected to the state Supreme Court, is hailed as a hero in the LGBT community for her ruling upholding same-sex marriage in 2005 — six years before the state legalized same-sex marriage and 10 years before the U.S. Supreme Court deemed it constitutional.

Ling-Cohan was recently recognized by the National Law Journal as one of the nation's Outstanding Women Lawyers.

In 2014, she became the first woman of Asian descent to preside in a New York State appellate court, having been appointed to the Appellate Term, First Department and the first of Asian descent to sit on that court. In an historic election in 1995, she became the first public official of Asian descent to be elected from Manhattan’s Chinatown (other than school board), when she was elected to the Civil Court (2nd Municipal Court District). In 2002, she became the first woman of Asian descent to be elected to the Supreme Court in New York State.