Judith Kaye is nominated as Chief Judge of New York State Court

February 22, 1993
Chief Judge of the State of New York Judith S. Kaye welcomes attendees to Day Two sessions of the Presidential Libraries Conference in Hyde Park sponsored by all of the Presidential Libraries and the National Archives.
Photo by William Boxer, courtesy of the National Archives.

When Governor Mario Cuomo nominated Judith Kaye for the position of Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals on February 22, 1993, she became the first woman to hold that post. The appointment followed ten years on the bench for Kaye, during which time she was the only female judge on the Court of Appeals.

Born in Monticello, New York, Kaye was educated at Barnard College and New York University. She practiced law in New York City until her appointment to the Court of Appeals. As a judge, Kaye has been noted for ruling that provisions of the State Constitution can be applied when they provide more protection for individual rights than does the United States Constitution.

Kaye has published articles relating to women and law, and—responding to her nomination—publicly urged Governor Cuomo to appoint additional women to the Court. Today, Kaye serves as chair of the Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and as a member of the board of editors of the New York State Bar Journal. In 2007, Judge Kaye became the first Chief Judge ever to complete a full 14 year term, and was appointed to a second term by Governor Eliot Spitzer on February 7, 2007, confirmed by the Senate on March 6, and sworn in on March 19, 2007.

Kaye retired as Chief Judge of New York on December 31, 2008 and went on to work as counsel for Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom in New York City.

Sources:New York Times, February 23, 1993; March 18, 1993; http://www.nycourts.gov/history/legal-history-new-york/luminaries-court-appeals/kaye-judith.html; Skadden.com.


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Jewish Women's Archive. "Judith Kaye is nominated as Chief Judge of New York State Court." (Viewed on April 22, 2024) <http://jwa.org/thisweek/feb/22/1993/judith-kaye>.