ALBANY — Chief Justice Janet DiFiore’s successor will inherit a state appeals court narrowly divided between conservative and liberal voices as she prepares to rule on the potential state-level fallout from recent US Supreme Court decisions on abortion and gun control.
Compared to the tenure of his more liberal predecessor, Chief Justice Jonathan Lippman, the court under DiFiore has heard far fewer cases and issued more conservative decisions, legal observers say. His next chapter will largely hinge on gubernatorial nominee Kathy Hochul to succeed DiFiore, 66, who will retire at the end of August after 6½ years as chief justice.
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