55:5 State High Courts and Individual Rights

Abstract

Thank you, Dean Leonard Baynes, for the lovely introduction and for inviting me to deliver the Sondock Jurist-in-Residence Lecture. Thank you to Judge Ruby Sondock for being a pioneer female member of the judiciary and serving as an inspiration for all jurists. We have much to learn from your unwavering commitment to equal access to justice and the rule of law.

With recent changes in our national government, the appointment of United States Supreme Court Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch, and the new administration’s nominees to the federal bench, there has been a reinvigorated discussion of the role of the state courts in protecting individual rights and ensuring access to justice. Given the tenor of the times, I have chosen to discuss the work of the New York State Court of Appeals, on which I sit.