September 2, 2016
KALAGNY URGES THE NEW YORK COUNTY DEMOCRATIC COMMITTEE TO CONVENE A NEW PANEL TO APPROVE THE HONORABLE DORIS LING-COHAN FOR NEW YORK SUPREME COURT
The Korean American Lawyers Association of Greater New York (KALAGNY) expresses its disappointment with this week’s New York Post article reporting on the alleged results of a judicial screening panel. Specifically, the New York Post reported that a judicial screening panel had decided against approving a distinguished Asian-American judge for re-election to the New York State Supreme Court. Justice Doris Ling-Cohan is currently a Supreme Court judge serving in the Appellate Term, First Department. She is seeking re-election to the New York State Supreme Court. With this in mind, we thank the Manhattan County Democratic Committee and its New York Supreme Court judicial screening panel for their service to the Bar, the former of which organized the latter to approve candidates for New York’s Supreme Court. For decades, the New York County Democratic Committee together with its volunteer panelists, have served an important historic function by identifying qualified jurists, in order to improve the administration of justice. We are nonetheless saddened to learn recent news suggesting that this judicial screening panel declined to approve the Justice’s application to run on the Democratic ticket for an open seat on this Court.
We urge the Democratic Party to endorse her to run on its ticket in the upcoming elections, and to re-form a new panel to re-evaluate the Justice’s qualifications for serving on the Court. Justice Ling-Cohan is and has been an upstanding member of the legal community for over 30 years. She was first elected to the Civil Court in 1995, becoming the first judge of Asian descent from the district which includes Chinatown. In 2002, Judge Ling-Cohan became the first Asian woman elected to the Supreme Court. In 2014, Justice Ling-Cohan was the first woman of Asian descent to be appointed to New York State’s appellate courts. With more than 40 legal awards to her credit, the Justice was most recently declared a Woman of Distinction by the New York University School of Law and was named an Outstanding Woman Lawyer by the National Law Journal in 2015. The Justice’s distinguished career should be evaluated more carefully, and with ample opportunity given to the Justice to respond to questions regarding her judicial record. In addition, we caution against evaluating a judge’s record based on unsubstantiated claims. Claims about a judge’s docket and judicial record should be substantiated or negated through New York’s Office of Court Administration (OCA), the administrative arm of New York’s court system.
Please see KALAGNY's full press release regarding this matter here, and stay tuned regarding developments regarding the Justice's application by clicking here.
In order to address Justice Ling-Cohan’s application and the importance of judicial independence, various community leaders have scheduled a press conference for Tuesday, September 6, at 1 PM on the steps of New York City’s City Hall.