August 25, 2022 - New York, NY – In light of the designation by the New York Court of Appeals of Judge Cannataro as Interim Chief Judge, The Dominican Bar Association (“DBA”) calls on Governor Kathy Hochul to remedy the slight against Judge Jenny Rivera.
The Interim Chief Judge position has historically been filled by the most senior judge on the court, which is currently Judge Jenny Rivera, a Latina. After over 100 years of historically appointing the most senior judge as the Interim Judge, the court chose instead Judge Cannataro, who was appointed just over a year ago.
Judge Rivera was nominated to the Court of Appeals in 2013 by former Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and became the second Latina named to the state’s highest court. She has spent her entire professional career in public service. Prior to the nomination, Judge Rivera served as a professor at the City University of New York School of Law, where she founded and served as Director of the Law School’s Center on Latinx Rights and Equality (CLORE), which focuses on issues that impact the Latino community in the United States. Prior to teaching, she clerked in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals Pro Se Law Clerk’s office and also served as a law clerk to then-District Judge Sonia Sotomayor.
During her career, Judge Rivera has been a strong advocate for the Latinx community. Through CLORE, Judge Rivera developed progressive strategies for reform to address issues impacting the Latinx Community, she has also published extensively on issues that impact our communities and served on the American Bar Association’s Commission on Hispanic Legal Rights and Responsibilities. Over the years, she has been recognized for her tremendous work, including being named one of the outstanding Latinas of 2000 by El Diario/La Prensa, among other accolades and awards. Most importantly, Judge Rivera has been a long-time friend and supporter of the DBA, often participating in and supporting our events and initiatives, including presiding over the installation ceremonies of our officers and directors.
Judge Rivera is an outstanding lawyer and jurist with an impeccable professional career. As a judge in the state’s highest court, she has demonstrated her relentless dedication to creating the equal justice system she has always strived to create. Outside of the court, she generously dedicates her time to support bar associations, organizations and law schools and is admired and respected by professors, law students and attorneys, alike.
“Judge Rivera is a dedicated jurist and her work exemplifies the mission of the Dominican Bar Association - working toward the advancement of Latino legal professionals. We had hoped the New York State Court of Appeals would continue its long-standing practice of appointing the longest-serving judge on the court to fill the Interim Chief Judge’s vacancy and make history by appointing the first person of color but they failed us there. We now ask that Governor Hochul make it right by appointing the most experienced person, who would also be the first Latina, as Chief Judge of New York State.” says Jamell Isidor, President of the DBA.
The DBA is an organization of legal professionals and law students, which supports Latinx members of the legal profession, particularly attorneys and law students, in their pursuit of higher posts in the legal profession and other facets of influence in the United States.