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Hudson Valley Native Judith Kaye, First Female Chief Judge In NY, Dies

Judith S. Kaye, the first woman to serve as chief judge in New York, died Thursday.
Judith S. Kaye, the first woman to serve as chief judge in New York, died Thursday. Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Judith S, Kaye, the first female chief judge in New York, died from cancer Thursday at her Manhattan home, according to The New York Times. Born in the Hudson Valley's Monticello, Kaye was 77.

Kaye was appointed an associate judge of the Court of Appeals by Gov. Mario M. Cuomo in 1983. She became chief judge following the resignation of Sol Watcher a decade later and presided over the Court of Appeals for nearly 15 years, reported The Times.

During her time on the court, Kaye wrote majority opinions voiding the state’s mandatory death penalty for murderers already imprisoned for life, as well as broadening news media access to pretrial hearings, according to The Times.

She delivered a dissent in Hernandez v. Robles in 2006 when a four-judge plurality ruled that same-sex couples did not have a constitutional or statutory right to marry, according to The Times.

Kay is survived by her children, Luisa, Jonathan and Gordon Kaye; seven grandchildren; and a brother, Allen Smith. She was predeceased by her husband Stephen Rackow Kaye, according to The Times.

Read more at The New York Times .

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