ALBANY, N.Y. -- The Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved Gov. Andrew Cuomo's nomination of Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore as the next chief judge of the state Court of Appeals, New York's highest court.
A floor confirmation vote by the full Senate is expected on Thursday.
DiFiore has served as Westchester district attorney since 2006. The Democrat is a former Republican.
Earlier Wednesday, DiFiore answered questions from the Senate Judiciary Committee.
State Sen. George Latimer, D-Rye, who serves on the Judiciary Committee, told Daily Voice: "Judge DiFiore has proven, over three decades, that she has the legal skills, the administrative experience and the judicial temperament necessary to do an exceptional job as Chief Judge. I strongly support her confirmation."
On Dec. 1, 2015, Gov. Cuomo, a resident of New Castle, nominated DiFiore after months of speculation that DiFiore was a leading candidate for the opening on the Court of Appeals. Cuomo faced a deadline to name a successor for Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman, who reached the mandatory retirement age of 70.
By law, Cuomo would name DiFiore's replacement as county District Attorney if she is confirmed judge by the full Senate.
DiFiore was among seven candidates for the opening. Only one other woman has served as chief judge: the late Judith Kaye who died on Jan. 7 at the age of 77. She was a native of Monticello.
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