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Cuomo watch: Court picks maintain diversity

A veteran observer of New York's top court says Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is following his father's pattern.

Cuomo has nominated Sheila Abdus-Salaam to the state Court of Appeals. She would be the first African-American woman to serve on the court, replacing the late Theodore Jones Jr., who had been the only black judge on the panel. In January, Cuomo appointed Jenny Rivera, a Latina, to replace the retired Carmen Beauchamp Ciparick, who's also Hispanic.

Vincent Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor, notes that Gov. Mario Cuomo replaced the lone black judge in 1992 with another African-American. Bonventre says Abdus-Salaam has been a "strong" midlevel court jurist who is "moderately liberal."

-- Yancey Roy

State & Region