Giuliani’s Left-Leaning Judges
Rudy Giuliani’s judicial appointments while mayor of New York were mostly left-leaning Democrats who don’t love Jesus, reports Ben Smith for The Politico.
When Rudy Giuliani faces Republicans concerned about his support of gay rights and legal abortion, he reassures them that he is a conservative on the decisions that matter most. “I would want judges who are strict constructionists because I am,” he told South Carolina Republicans last month. “Those are the kinds of justices I would appoint — Scalia, Alito and Roberts.”
But most of Giuliani’s judicial appointments during his eight years as mayor of New York were hardly in the model of Chief Justice John Roberts or Samuel Alito — much less aggressive conservatives in the mold of Antonin Scalia.
A Politico review of the 75 judges Giuliani appointed to three of New York state’s lower courts found that Democrats outnumbered Republicans by more than 8 to 1. One of his appointments was an officer of the International Association of Lesbian and Gay Judges. Another ruled that the state law banning liquor sales on Sundays was unconstitutional because it was insufficiently secular. A third, an abortion-rights supporter, later made it to the federal bench in part because New York Sen. Charles E. Schumer, a liberal Democrat, said he liked her ideology.
This might not play well in the Republican primaries. Then again, blue laws have been ruled unconstitutional time and again. And it’s not like state judges are making abortion law in the post-Roe world.
But here’s the key:
When Giuliani took office in 1994, he inherited a system of judicial appointments created by one of his predecessors, Ed Koch, and designed to insulate the courts from political influence. Under the system, the mayor appoints members of an independent panel. Aspiring judges apply to the panel, which recommends three candidates for each vacancy. The mayor chooses among the three.
So, it’s not as if he had free reign.