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New York Chief Judge Judith S. Kaye vowed on Friday to “move heaven and Earth” to fulfill her legislative and administrative goals before her term expires in 2007 — and made crystal clear that a judicial pay raise tops her list for the upcoming legislative session. “Enough already,” an exasperated chief judge said in an informal gathering Friday with capital correspondents and Judge Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick. “It has reached a point where it is really unfair. It is shameful, it really is, how we have fallen way, way behind judges in other states. Sometimes you just have to keep making the same arguments, and ultimately, the right thing is done. And this is the right thing. I fervently believe it will be done this year. In fact, I’ll go further. It will be done.” Kaye, and dozens of lower court judges, spent much of the current legislative session appealing to Gov. George E. Pataki and leading lawmakers for a pay raise, the judges’ first in eight years. Although all the leaders and scores of rank-and-file lawmakers agree, they are hung up on the issue of whether to raise legislative salaries at the same time. Historically, judicial and legislative salaries have been linked, in part because doing so provides political cover for lawmakers worried about public backlash against them. And historically, pay raises do not occur in an election year — like 2006 — or, if they do, not until after the election. Still, the chief judge is confident of winning raises within the next session. She said that if legislators want to raise their salaries along with those of the judges, it is fine with her. They have foregone a pay raise just as long as the judiciary. Also Friday, the chief judge said the Court of Appeals will hold a May session in Suffolk County, with the exact location to be determined later. In recent years, she has brought the court on road trips to Brooklyn and Buffalo, but has yet to venture onto Long Island. Kaye also said the court soon will begin a lecture series at Court of Appeals Hall and intimated that she will be glued to the television next month when the Senate Judiciary Committee holds confirmation hearings on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Harriet E. Miers. Although Kaye refused to reveal her personal thoughts about the nomination of Miers, whose political connections are seemingly opposite those of New York’s top judge, the two women do share at least one thing in common: Neither had prior judicial experience when she was nominated for a high court position. ‘WATCH OUT’ And lest anyone suspect that Kaye is in danger of becoming a lame deck as she heads into her last 17 months, the jurist had two words of warning: “Watch out.” “My term ends March 22, 2007 … and I am going to use absolutely every minute of it to the fullest,” she said, promising to be a judicial dynamo as she completes what will be 24 years on the court, and 14 as chief judge. “I think of the things I want to get done, and I am going to move heaven and Earth to get them done.” Kaye said she has not decided what she will do when her term expires. Although she does have the option of applying for another term, she would have to step down after reaching the mandatory retirement age of 70 in 2008. It is unclear whether she would return to private practice and resume what was a more than 20-year career as a commercial litigator before then-Gov. Mario M. Cuomo made her the first woman on the Court of Appeals in 1983 “If I think about what my next life will be, it is devastating,” she said. “Nothing can come close to what I’ve had.”

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