If moderates don’t rally behind Gov. Hochul and her chief judge pick, the hard left will rule the state


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In a bid to utterly neuter Gov. Kathy Hochul at the start of her first elected term, the hard left is maneuvering to kill her nomination of Hector LaSalle to become the state’s top judge. It shows that the Democratic Party’s pro-crime, socialist minority is determined to rule New York with an iron hand.

If the gambit works, Hochul becomes the first governor in state history to see his or her nominee for chief judge at the Court of Appeals rejected. Such is the Legislature’s gratitude for the ginormous pay hike she just OK’d, and for her willingness to roll over on fixing lawmakers’ botched criminal-justice reforms last year.

The hyper-progressives want the state’s top court to stop striking down unconstitutional lefty laws (such as last year’s bid at gerrymandering the state’s Republicans into irrelevance), and instead impose the hard-left agenda from the bench, without the need to pass actual laws.

LaSalle is a moderate Democrat, but the left cherry-picks just three decisions — plus the fact that he was once (gasp) a prosecutor — to paint him as a conservative. All three were decided on the law, not ideology.

Gov. Hochul can become the first governor in NY state history to see her nominee for chief judge at the Court of Appeals rejected.
Hector D. LaSalle.
There are plans to stop Gov. Hochul’s nominee, Hector LaSalle, to become New York’s top judge.

The latest move is to pack the Judiciary Committee with new hard-left members to sink the nomination in committee, thereby avoiding a floor vote where moderate Dems, backed by Republicans, could support the governor’s choice. It’s a thuggish ploy with the fingerprints of Deputy Senate Majority Leader Michael Gianaris (D-Queens) all over it.

And never mind that LaSalle would be the state’s first Hispanic chief judge: For Gianaris & Co., ideology trumps diversity.

Nor will they stop here. Knifing LaSalle would be just the start of continuing to impose a pro-criminal, anti-business agenda that will accelerate the exodus from New York that the gov wants to stop.

Yes, Hochul’s decision to tap LaSalle was a challenge to the hard left. But she’s the governor, now duly elected in her own right — and this was her chance to prove it. Now the extremists threaten to render her a mere figurehead, as ex-Gov. George Pataki put it.

If elected, LaSalle would become the state’s first Hispanic chief judge.
If confirmed, LaSalle would become the state’s first Hispanic chief judge.

And her reaction — telling them to pound sand — was impressive. She vowed to stick with him, despite enormous pressure, to the end. “Judge LaSalle is a highly qualified, experienced and respected jurist, and his historic nomination deserves a full hearing and confirmation process,” she argued recently.

At this point, it’s up to the non-extremist Senate Democrats to rebel against the left, and rally to Hochul and LaSalle — first in committee and then on the floor. If sane Dems don’t start standing up to the hard-left goons, moderate voters who simply want a safe and prosperous state will start rejecting them.

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