Skip Navigation
Court Case Tracker

Lopez Torres v. NYS Board of Elections

U.S. Judge Overturns New York State Judicial Election Process in Brennan Center Lawsuit

Published: January 16, 2008

In New York State the Supreme Court is the trial court of general juris­dic­tion. New York’s Consti­tu­tion provides that “the justice of the supreme court shall be chosen by the elect­ors [i.e., the voters] of the judi­cial district in which they are to serve.” In prac­tice, however, New York Supreme Court judges are selec­ted through a de facto appoint­ment system, which is largely controlled by county lead­ers of the two major polit­ical parties.

Oner­ous struc­tural obstacles designed to ensure that county lead­er­s—not voter­s—se­lect Supreme Court judges have preven­ted Lopez Torres and other highly qual­i­fied judges from becom­ing justices on the New York Supreme Court.

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs in Support of Respond­ents

U.S. Supreme Court Briefs in Support of Peti­tion­ers

U.S. Supreme Court Brief in Support of Neither Party

Other Import­ant Court Docu­ments