New York’s lefty minds insist Gov. Kathy Hochul’s Court of Appeals chief pick Hector LaSalle is a fire-breathing right-winger. It’s utter garbage, if you simply look at the cases the critics cite as evidence.
- LaSalle is accused of failing to “understand” an alleged “threat to women’s rights” because he joined a unanimous 2017 appellate court ruling limiting the scope of a state Attorney General subpoena aimed at an abortion-alternative non-profit. The subpoena would’ve required information (like the educational credentials of its entire staff) miles beyond the scope of any legitimate investigation, a demand clearly made from pure political animus as part of a fishing expedition by New York progs. No: LaSalle (and the rest of the court) made the right call.
- He “rode roughshod” over due process in a 2014 majority decision when he joined a ruling that a defendant who, on his lawyer’s advice, waived his right to appeal while pleading guilty to a weapons charge had in fact . . . waived his right to appeal. The claim that having ruled against the perp here makes LaSalle a foe of due process is moronic.
- A claim about a 2015 case allegedly proving LaSalle “empowered management to harass labor” is equally absurd. The judge (siding once again with the majority) decided that a large employer was allowed to sue people in the leadership of the union representing its workers for allegedly defamatory statements made by those people not in their capacity as union members. LaSalle was following the precedent, which does not magically protect union leaders from all legal repercussions.
In other words, LaSalle follows the law, rather than the far-left wish list. His critics are plainly pushing for a chief judge (and swing vote on the state’s top court) who’ll twist the law, legislating the progressive agenda from the bench so voters can’t revolt.
That’s why extremist insiders led by state Sen. Mike Gianaris (D-Queens) are stacking the Judiciary Committee against him ahead of his confirmation hearing: They want the facts to be irrelevant.
If they get their way, New York’s legal system becomes another far-left power center — and the exodus of sane, productive people from the Empire State accelerates.