Cuomo court pick to go before Senate panel Tuesday

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The state Senate will grill Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s nominee for New York’s top court on Tuesday.

Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 61, of Manhattan, who is currently a justice on the mid-level Appellate Division bench, will be reviewed by the Republican-led Senate Judiciary Committee.

 Abdus-Salaam would become the first African-American female to serve on the New York Court of Appeals. She would replace the late Theodore Jones Jr. and become Cuomo’s second appointment to the top court.

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It’s uncertain whether Abdus-Salaam will face the same hard questions as Cuomo’s first appointee, Jenny Rivera.

In February, Republicans criticized Rivera’s lack of experience as a trial lawyer and judge. Rivera spent most of her career as a law professor and legal advocate – and worked for Cuomo when he was attorney general. After a noisy debate, Senate co-leader Dean Skelos said he would support the nomination, clearing the way for her approval.


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