On Monday, New York’s chief judge, Janet DiFiore, revealed that she would retire at the end of August after serving as the state’s top jurist for the past six years.
In a letter to her colleagues, the 68-year-old, highly respected magistrate said structural changes were made within the judiciary during her tenure and the reduction of backlogged cases.
“Excellence is a mindset, one that is now fully integrated into the fabric of the New York courts, leaving us well prepared to meet the future justice needs of every lawyer, litigant, and court user who comes to our courthouses seeking fair, timely, and justice services,” DiFiore said.
DiFiore assumed the position as chief justice of the Court of Appeals in 2016 after former governor Andrew Cuomo appointed her to the position in late 2015 after serving as a district attorney in Westchester County.
She told the media that she would take on another chapter in her professional career after her retirement.
With DiFiore’s looming retirement, New York governor Kathy Hochul now has the opportunity to appoint DiFiore’s replacement when progressives have criticized the seven-member Court of Appeals for being too conservative and praised the outgoing jurist.
“From the Westchester District Attorney’s Office to the Court of Appeals, Chief Judge Janet DiFiore has dedicated her career to the people of New York,” Hochul said in a statement.
“Chief Judge DiFiore’s leadership of our state court system-especially during the unprecedented times of the COVID-19 pandemic-has been a critical asset,” Hochul added.