Gov. Hochul Retreats to Square One on Finding a Top Judge for New York

ALBANY, N.Y. — The State Senate’s extraordinary rejection of Gov. Kathy Hochul’s nominee to head New York’s highest court on Wednesday has placed the state’s leaders in uncharted territory, clouding Ms. Hochul’s first full term in power.

The uncertainty stemmed from the unprecedented rejection; the Senate’s vote against Justice Hector D. LaSalle to lead the Court of Appeals marked the first time that lawmakers have refused a governor’s pick for chief judge.

Now Ms. Hochul and Senate Democrats must determine how to pick another nominee for the Senate to consider. The answer may shed light on whether there will be long-term ramifications stemming from the governor’s defeat.

The ruling Senate Democrats believe the process must start from scratch because

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