New York’s highest court welcomes its first openly gay judge

Judge Paul Feinman was sworn in as the first openly gay member of New York state’s highest court, the Court of Appeals.

In an emotional ceremony, Governor Andrew Cuomo’s top counsel Alphonso David – who is himself openly gay, and who spoke at Out Leadership’s Out in Law Summit in 2015 – honored Feinman and paid tribute to the Honorable Sheila Abdus-Salaam, whose death in April left the vacancy on the court that Feinman’s appointment resolved.

David used his remarks to address the current political situation in New York and nationally, noting: “Our judiciary was built to help us navigate tumultuous times. When our ship is battered by storms of controversy, when waves of fear and anger and anxiety send us off course. When tides of emotion drives us from paths of reason, the Constitution of New York and the Constitution of the United states are the compasses that steer us forward.”

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