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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

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