Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez is feeling uneasy about the support Judge Hector LaSalle is receiving. Ocasio-Cortez, who is often referred to as AOC, is claiming that LaSalle does not represent the values of the Latine community.
According to the New York Post, Ocasio-Cortez sent out an email to supporters where she wrote, “New York deserves a Chief Judge who can make history without contradicting our communities’ values or putting our rights at risk. We deserve so much better.”
Differing opinions regarding Hector LaSalle
If LaSalle wins, he will become the first Latino to lead New York’s Court of Appeals. The nominated judge is of Puerto Rican descent and has obtained the support of some progressive political figures such as Nydia Velázquez, the first Puerto Rican woman elected to the U.S. House of Representatives, and Ritchie Torres, New York City’s youngest elected official and the first openly queer person elected to office in the Bronx.
Still, many other Latines in office and public figures are echoing Ocasio-Cortez’s sentiments.
Gautam Hans, an associate clinical professor of law and associate director of the Stanton Foundation First Amendment Clinic at Cornell Law School, recently wrote an op-ed about his concerns regarding LaSalle. He delineated three cases where LaSalle’s legal decisions were questionable. At least, questionable to those who oppose conservative values.
On Twitter, over 70 Latine politicians are making their stance against LaSalle heard as well.
Assemblymember for AD 34, Jessica González-Rojas, tweeted about her opposition to LaSalle where she mentioned that New York “must have a diverse and progressive Chief Judge.”
I joined 70+ Latinx leaders in opposing the nomination of Hector LaSalle as Chief Judge of the NY Court of Appeals. Diversity is important but not enough. NY must have a diverse and progressive Chief Judge #NoOnLaSalle https://t.co/2IxuEJlnbd
— Jessica González-Rojas (@votejgr) January 5, 2023
The hashtag #NoOnLaSalle was used, which is being used by many other Twitter users as well.
Currently, New York’s Court of Appeals is led by a conservative majority, and it’s spearheaded by Chief Judge Janet DiFiore. Her resignation opened up a space where the top court could see some balance again. Otherwise, if someone with similar or the same ideologies takes office, the court’s nature will remain as is until 2030.