Clock ticks on Cuomo's high-court picks

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Beginning New Year’s Day, the clock will be ticking on Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s first nomination to New York’s highest court.

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By Jan. 15, Cuomo must select a judge to replace Carmen Ciparick, who is retiring, for the state Court of Appeals. Soon after, Cuomo will have to select another to replace Theodore Jones Jr., who died in November. Ciparick was the court’s lone Hispanic; Jones its lone African-American.

Cuomo, a Democrat, didn’t talk about judicial appointments during his campaign. His father, Gov. Mario Cuomo, appointed a mix of jurists to the court during his 12 years in office. Republican Gov. George Pataki appointed mostly conservative ones in his 12 and Democrat Eliot Spitzer nominated two liberals.

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