Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday his nomination of Jenny Rivera, professor at the City University of New York School of Law, to serve on the state’s highest court.
“Throughout her career, Professor Rivera has worked to defend the legal rights of all New Yorkers and make our state a fairer, more just place to live,” Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday. “As a Judge on the Court of Appeals, Professor Rivera’s legal expertise and passion for social justice will serve all New Yorkers well, and I am proud to send her nomination to the Senate today.”
Rivera, a longtime Bronx resident and New York native, worked previously as special deputy attorney general for civil rights under Cuomo, who was then attorney general. She has also served as a law clerk to now-U.S. Supreme Court Associate Judge Sonia Sotomayor when the federal judge was at the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York.
Rivera has served as commissioner of the NYC Commission on Human Rights, associate counsel for the Puerto Rican Legal Defense and Education Fund and staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society of New York City.
“I am deeply honored to be nominated by Governor Cuomo to serve on our Court of Appeals,” Rivera said in a statement. “As a lifetime New Yorker, this nomination is a special opportunity for me to continue to serve the people of New York. As a member of the Court of Appeals, I will work each day to uphold the laws of the state and advocate for fairness and justice, and I thank the Governor for this opportunity.”
The Commission on Judicial Nomination delivered a list of candidates to Cuomo last month, and he was required to make his decision by today.
The Senate now has 30 days to confirm or reject the appointment. The Court of Appeals has seven members.
“Professor Rivera is one of New York’s most gifted legal minds, and with this appointment, Governor Cuomo is nominating an extraordinarily qualified Latina to New York State’s highest court,” Elena Goldberg Velazquez, president of the Puerto Rican Bar Association, said in a statement. “Throughout her career, Professor Rivera has fought for justice and social inclusion, and all New Yorkers will benefit from her voice and commitment to fairness.”