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ALBANY, N.Y. � An emotional New York Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye said last week that the state judiciary will not remain “docile in the face of the shabby treatment” it is receiving from officials of other government branches and is prepared to sue to get judges their first raises in more than eight years. The chief judge said a suit would be the “very last resort,” but she added she may take that step if lawmakers and the governor do not authorize a pay increase between now and June. “If there is no action on judicial salaries before the Legislature adjourns in June, the only remaining course of action available to us may well be to institute litigation with the full weight of the state judiciary behind it,” Kaye said. “That truly would be a sad day for us, for state government and for the people of New York.” The chief judge called the latest collapse of a raise “distressing and infuriating.” She described a judiciary that is demoralized and angered by the failure of the state Legislature and Governor Eliot Spitzer to approve a raise when they adopted the 2007-08 state budget on April 1. She said the continuing inability to get raises threatens to undermine the courts and deters talented legal minds from wanting to join the bench.

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