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Judges of the New York Court of Appeals listen to arguments in White Plains in April, with the date each was confirmed by the Senate, from left: Judges Michael Garcia (Feb. 8, 2016), Leslie Stein (Feb. 9, 2015), Jenny Rivera (Feb. 11, 2013), Chief Judge Janet DiFiore (Jan. 21, 2016), Eugene Fahey (Feb. 9, 2015) and Rohan Wilson (Feb. 6, 2017).Judges of the New York Court of Appeals listen to arguments in White Plains in April, with the date each was confirmed by the Senate, from left: Judges Michael Garcia (Feb. 8, 2016), Leslie Stein (Feb. 9, 2015), Jenny Rivera (Feb. 11, 2013), Chief Judge Janet DiFiore (Jan. 21, 2016), Eugene Fahey (Feb. 9, 2015) and Rowan Wilson (Feb. 6, 2017). (David Handschuh/NYLJ)

When I was appointed to the Court of Appeals, I was the seventh in a short period chosen by Gov. Mario Cuomo. It set the stage for a lighthearted exchange at a press conference when he publicly presented my appointment. He was very proud of having filled seven seats on the court, and was prepared for the inevitable question as to my political affiliation that memorable Jan. 5, 1987 morning. Gleefully grinning, he answered the expected inquiry from a reporter: “None,” adding something like “How’s that for a non-partisan court? I’ve appointed three Republicans, three Democrats, and now one Independent!” Remarkably, that seven-member constituency of the court remained unchanged for almost six continuous years.

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