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NY Senate to weigh LIer nomination to Appeals Court

Rowan D. Wilson, of Port Washington.

Rowan D. Wilson, of Port Washington. Credit: NDS Harlem


A key lawmaker said Tuesday he expects no opposition over the nomination of Rowan D. Wilson to New York’s highest court and says the Port Washington resident could be confirmed as soon as Monday.

If confirmed, Wilson, 56, would become the first Long Island resident on the state Court of Appeals in more than two decades. It also would mark the first time the seven-member court has had two African-Americans serving simultaneously, and it would mean that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo now has appointed all seven judges to the current bench.

The Senate Judiciary Committee will review Wilson’s nomination Monday, said Sen. John Bonacic (R-Mount Hope), committee chairman. Bonacic he hopes the full Senate then will vote on the nomination later that day.

Bonacic called Wilson “intellectually gifted” and praised his wide variety of experience as a practicing attorney, especially in commercial law. The Court of Appeals currently has no judge from that area of law.

“I myself am high on him,” Bonacic said. “I don’t expect any trouble.”

Wilson has no experience as a judge. The Court of Appeals has had a number of members who have stepped straight from private law practice to the bench, including the late Chief Judge Judith Kaye.

Wilson would replace Eugene Pigott, the last nominee of Republican Gov. George Pataki. Pigott stepped down on Dec. 31, after hitting the Court of Appeals’ mandatory retirement age of 70. All the judges on the bench now are Cuomo appointees; only one, Michael Garcia, is a Republican.

The last Long Island resident on the court was Sol Wachtler, a Republican who served from 1985 to 1993.


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