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.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

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